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OSHA News Release
Region 8

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Region 8 News Release: 11-1621-DEN (11-262)
Nov. 28, 2011
Contact: Michael Shimizu
Phone: 206-553-7620


US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Texas-based drilling company for
safety violations after worker electrocuted at Williston, ND, job site

BISMARCK, N.D. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Houston, Texas-based oil and gas drilling contractor Nabors Drilling USA LP for two alleged workplace safety violations after a worker was electrocuted at a Williston job site in May.

"In this case, the employer failed to adhere to well-known safe electrical practices, which resulted in the electrocution of an employee," said Tom Deutscher, OSHA's area director in Bismarck. "The extremely hazardous nature of oil and gas operations requires that employers take an aggressive and comprehensive stance toward workplace safety."

OSHA has cited the company for one repeat safety violation for failing to ensure flexible cords and cables were protected from damage. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The employer was cited for similar violations in 2008.

The company also has been cited for one serious violation for failing to ensure electrical equipment remained free from recognized hazards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

Proposed penalties total $45,500. Nabors Drilling has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Bismarck Area Office at 701-250-4521.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.