Fire, Fall Hazards Unearthed at N.D. Oil Rig

Repeat violations include exposing employees to a potential 26-foot fall hazard as they worked on the drilling floor next to an open V-door and a non-functional eye wash station used to prevent injury in the event of corrosive materials entering the eyes.

OSHA has cited Cyclone Drilling Inc. with two repeat, five serious, and one other than serious violation of safety and health standards for exposing workers on an oil drilling rig to electrical, fire, and fall hazards, among others, in an oil field near Ray, N.D. Proposed penalties total $65,600.

Cyclone Drilling Inc. was inspected under the OSHA Bismarck Area Office's Problem Solving Initiative, which aims to prevent injuries and fatalities while also raising the safety and health awareness of employers in the oil drilling and construction activities of North Dakota's western region.

The repeat violations include exposing employees to a potential 26-foot fall hazard as they worked on the drilling floor next to an open V-door, the area where drill pipe sections are brought onto the drilling floor, and a non-functional eye wash station used to prevent injury in the event of corrosive materials entering the eyes. The company was cited for an open side platform in 2008 at a Lambert, Mont., facility and for a violation related to an eye wash station in Meeker, Colo., in 2010.

The serious violations include failing to install connecting pins in the derrick, repair damaged stairs, provide an operable fire extinguisher, guard rotating machinery parts, provide electrical covers, and repair or replace damaged and improperly strung flexible cords.

"The hazards discovered during this inspection are well-recognized within the industry and easily can be corrected to protect employees from needless injuries," said Tom Deutscher, director of OSHA's Bismarck Area Office. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job."

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