OSHA Issues Citations in Rig Worker's Death

Heller Casing faces a proposed $14,000 fine after a worker installing casing pipe on an oil rig in McKenzie County, N.D., was crushed by a falling load, according to the agency.

OSHA announced June 20 that its Region 8 has cited Heller Casing for two general duty clause safety violations after a worker was fatally crushed Jan. 31 while installing casing pipe on an oil rig in McKenzie County. An improperly secured load fell onto the victim, according to the agency's news release.

"Heller Casing has a responsibility to protect oil rig workers from struck-by and other hazards in this dangerous industry," said Eric Brooks, OSHA's area director in Bismarck, N.D. "No job should cost a person's life because an employer failed to properly protect and train workers."

OSHA cited two serious violations for allegedly failing to protect workers from struck-by and crushing hazards by properly securing the hook used to suspend a load, which consisted of power tongs and accurately positioning the suspension cable. The power tongs allegedly became snagged on the traveling block as it was being elevated. The tongs loosened from the block after being elevated about 15 feet and fell on the victim.

Proposed fines total $14,000.

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