Fire resistant clothing now required near Wyoming oil and gas wells

The state of Wyoming now requires all workers within 75 feet of an oil or natural gas well bore must be wearing fire resistant clothing. The Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced Monday it is implementing the new rule, first approved by the governor-appointed Wyoming Occupational Safety and Health Commission in October.

The commission also mandated that shutoff devices on diesel engines are to be used on all drilling rigs. These new decisions were lauded by the state’s oil and gas industry.

“As an industry, we were pleased to help work on those rules and we’re pleased to see them being implemented,” said John Robitaille, vice president of the Wyoming Petroleum Association. “We hope they do what they’re intended to do and save people from getting hurt in the jobs that they do.”

The state’s rule making mandatory use of fire resistant clothing near wells was not well received by all. Smaller companies complained that the fire resistant clothing was too expensive to make mandatory. Some complained that the clothing would only protect workers from flash fires.

Yet, may larger companies have required safety clothing for their employees before it became mandatory.

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