The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Agency says contrary to reports it never advised or supported Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited executives’ move to abort a rescue mission to save four divers who were sucked into No 36 sealine on February 25.
The men’s bodies were retrieved from the pipeline days later.
On Saturday OSHA’s Communications and Outreach Manager Kendall Reid stated that claims OSHA was involved in this decision were “damaging to the reputation of the agency.”
He maintained that OSHA is a law enforcement body whose jurisdiction is to determine whether employers, occupiers and employees comply with the OSH Act.
As such, the agency does not become involved in the decision-making process of any organisation nor do we direct any OSH-related operation.
On March 7 in a press release, Paria defended its decision to abort the mission saying: “It was determined by Paria–and supported by the Coast Guard, the OSH Agency, and external experts–that it was too dangerous for anyone to proceed further into the pipeline without posing a significant risk to life.
Three days later Paria amended the release on its website omitting OSHA.
However, no retraction was sent to the media indicating the reason for the omission.