Halliburton was cited for two “serious” safety violations following the 19 January death of 49-year-old Mike Krajewski of Duluth, Minnesota.
Krajewski died after being struck by a high-pressure line while servicing a well on an oil rig in Watford City, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration said in a statement.
“The company failed in its responsibility to maintain a work site free from recognised safety hazards, such as struck-by hazards that can occur as the result of high-pressure lines and stored energy,” said Eric Brooks, Osha’s area director in Bismarck. “It is tragic when a worker is killed on the job. Employers must take all precautions to prevent such incidents.”
Each violation comes with a $7000 fine, with total penalties coming to $14,000.
The violations were a result of Halliburton’s failure to secure or restrain high-pressure lines from movement to prevent a struck-by hazard and to control the release of stored energy from a pressure line, Osha said.
The agency defines a serious violation as an incident in which there is “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known”.
Halliburton has been inspected by Osha 43 times nationwide since 2008. However, the latest citation was the company’s first violation in North Dakota, Osha regional spokesman Scott Allen confirmed.
Allen added that Halliburton is the subject of a “couple other inspections” in North Dakota that are unrelated to latest citation, but it has not been determined whether there were any violations in those cases.
The services behemoth has a regional office in Williston, North Dakota, home base for many of the companies involved in the Bakken oil rush.
Halliburton has 15 business days to comply with the penalties, request an informal conference with Osha’s area director or contest the findings.
A spokeswoman said the company had received the citation and is “currently reviewing this matter”.
Upstream reported at the time of the incident that Halliburton was hydraulic fracturing the Koala 154-97-15-34-27 well, which was operated by Kodiak Oil & Gas.
Allen said Kodiak was not under investigation for this incident that company’s involvement “didn’t meet criteria for an inspection”.