Oilfield employee reacts to fatal freak accident

Published: May. 30, 2017 at 11:24 PM CDT
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A man was found dead in Midland County early Monday morning.

Investigators say he was working alone on a drilling rig.

Paul Stuart, who was identified to be in his twenties, fell into a spool of cable and got tangled in the cords.

His body was found near County Roads 170 and 1110.

“It’s kind of sad to see a fellow rough neck, you know. I used to be a rough neck myself. I did it for 14 years, so to hear something like that, that’s sad,” said Rafael Estrada, who used to work on a drilling rig just like Stuart did.

Estrada added that the drilling rig is by far one of the most dangers jobs in the oilfield.

But here at CBS 7 News, we had questions as to whether or not Stuart should have been working alone when he was killed.

Surprisingly, Estrada says working solo with dangerous equipment is not that uncommon.

“It all depends. I mean, if they told him to, yeah,” Estrada said when asked if he thinks Stuart should have been accompanied by another worker.

He added that sometimes workers will be in the field for 24 hour shifts.

Estrada noting that working in the oilfield is a dangerous job which requires a vigilant crew with team members who know exactly what they’re doing.

“It’s hard labor—real hard labor. Real dangerous. You always got to watch what you're doing. Watch your surroundings,” Estrada added.

Estrada, who now leads a team in the oilfield, wants all crews out there to work together and pay attention to what’s around them.

OSHA is currently investigating Stuart’s death.

CBS 7 News reached out to the agency, and is waiting to hear back on whether the company Stuart worked for faces any violations.