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Region 8 News Release: 13-755-DAK
April 25, 2013
Contact: Scott Allen     Rhonda Burke
Phone:      312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov     burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Nomac Drilling for failing to
provide fall protection to workers on well derricks in Trenton, ND

TRENTON, N.D. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Nomac Drilling of Killdeer three safety violations, including one repeat for failing to provide fall protection, to workers at a Trenton well site. The inspection was initiated April 2 under an OSHA initiative targeting compliance within the oil and gas industries in the Bakken formation. OSHA has proposed penalties of $65,300.

"Nomac Drilling continues to expose workers to fall hazards," said Eric Brooks, OSHA's area director in Bismarck. "Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the workplace. Employers have a responsibility to implement worker safety programs effectively and to train their employees on the proper use of fall protection equipment."

The repeat violation cites the company for failing to protect workers on unguarded open platforms in the mud house from fall hazards of about 9 feet. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The same violation was cited in 2010 in Towanda Township, Pa., and in 2011 in Cordell, Okla., and Wyalusing, Pa.

Two serious violations involve failing to ensure workers were protected from fall/egress hazards by installing an effective emergency escape line from the derrick board and to provide a usable eyewash station for working with corrosive chemicals. A serious violation is 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.

Nomac Drilling has been inspected by OSHA 35 times nationwide since January 2010, with 16 of those inspections resulting in citations.

The company 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 http://www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 252-693-7828 or TTY 252-693-7755.


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