Tragic explosion becomes a powerful message

BISMARCK, N.D. - As we told you last night, an uncontrolled gas release may have led to this week's deadly rig explosion in Oklahoma.

A report says that gas caught fire and a worker tried to shut down the well. Five people were killed.

That brings to mind the question of worker safety.

One man who suffered the consequences of not following safety procedures in Oklahoma more than 20 years ago spoke at the Energy Generation Conference Wednesday morning.

Brad Livingston and his daughter, Kayla Rath, told their story of struggle and about ripple effects of one bad decision and how it can be life changing.

“They told me Tracy had been killed in the explosions," said Livingston.

Tracy was Brad Livingston's colleague, and in September of 1991, their life’s changed completely because of a welding mishap in rural Oklahoma.

"If we gauged the tanks we would have found out the liquid level was too low and we wouldn't have done the welding. Those three minutes that we saved, would have saved his life, would have saved what my family has been through," said Livingston.

He was in the hospital getting treatments for months because more than 60 percent of his body was burned in the accident.

Now, Livingston goes across the country spreading the importance of safety while on the job.

His daughter talks about the ripple effects this situation had on her and her family.

"The decisions you make at work they don't affect just you, they affect your family. When you don't come home, your kids don't know what to do," said Rath, motivational safety speaker.

"Motivate people to take what they know in their head about safety and move it to their heart and make them aware of how they're going to affect other people," said Livingston.

Livingston is grateful to have survived and to live life with his three daughters, wife and 11 grand kids.

Rath and Livingston will both be back at the Event Center Thursday morning telling their full story during their keynote address.


Photo courtesy Brad Livingston