Oil Field Deaths Could be a Record - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Oil Field Deaths Could be a Record

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Two oil-field deaths in two weeks--and OSHA says we are on pace to set a record.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration is investigating the most recent case--a man found dead early today at a fracking site northwest of Parshall. Bismarck Area OSHA director, Tom Deutscher says it was reported to OSHA at 4-o'clock this morning. A compliance officer is at the scene investigating. The name and age of the victim is not known, but Deutscher says the man was an employee of Key Energy Services and was working at a well servicing site. Our calls to Key Energy Services have not been returned.

OSHA is also investigating a death that was reported February 3rd north of Alexander. Deutscher says an employee of KKA Drilling fell about 14 feet from a rig. Workers were in the process of dismantling the rig floor when the accident happened. The victim died as a result of the injuries sustained in the fall. OSHA could not identify the man.

29 oil-field related deaths have been reported to the North Dakota OSHA office from January 1, 2011 through today. Deutscher says his office receives 15-20 a year on average--for North Dakota AND South Dakota. He says the number of deaths are much higher than ever. Deutscher says workplace deaths must be reported to OSHA within 8 hours--but he says some are not. Companies that do not report deaths at a work site are subject to citations which include financial penalties.

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