OSHA Fines Halliburton in Death of a N.D. Worker

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Halliburton Company for two serious safety violations in a death of a worker in the western North Dakota oil fields.

The employee was struck by a high-pressure line while servicing a well on an oil rig in Watford City Jan. 19, according to OSHA.

“The company failed in its responsibility to maintain a worksite free from recognized 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, in a released statement. "It is tragic when a worker is killed on the job. Employers must take all precautions to prevent such incidents."

The violations included failing 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.

The proposed fines total $14,000, which Halliburton can contest. Halliburton stated it is reviewing the matter, as reported by the Associated Press.

Founded in 1919, Halliburton is an oilfield services company that employees more than 72,000 people. The company, which operates a regional office in Williston, has been cited 43 times nationwide by OSHA since 2008.


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Andrew  |  August 01, 2013
A struck by case in the "new age" oilfield should never occur. Yes, the industry is busy and yes there are people one and two levels above where they probably need to be, but with that said Halliburton does emphasize safety and shutting the job down when an unsafe act or condition occurs. Halliburton was sited for not properly securing high pressure line. The Halliburton workers on site are the ones supposed to "Secure" the line not managment and I have no doubt all employees have been trained on this matter. With all this said, it is up to the supervisor on location to instill the safety culture expected by Halliburton managment.
Gordon  |  July 20, 2013
Typical safety takes a back seat by a company that is only interested in profit not Health and Safety despite all the internal rhetoric. 14,000.00 fine why not just take away a coffee machine in the executive suit it would have more impact with the executive whinning about inconvenience.
Dave  |  July 19, 2013
It is tragic when someone gets killed on the job no doubt. However in Halliburtons defense, throughout the company they do promote safe working conditions. I am a supervisor on a drilling rig and use Halliburton regularly. They always follow safety rules on my locations. Their management are not idiots. They realize the consequences should they disregard such practices. Oilfield work is dangerous. Unfortunately accidents do occur. Most companies including Halliburton do their best to prevent them. At every safety meeting I have attended where Halliburton is performing work it is stated that ANY employee has the authority to stop the job if an unsafe condition is observed. While I dont know the details of the accident in North Dakota, one should not immediately jump to the conclusion that Halliburton is the evil culprit.
Michael Tagge  |  July 19, 2013
In response to Wiiliam: I have been a Halliburton employee for fifteen years, during which time I have seen our industry as a whole and Halliburton in particular, create whole departments of people and spend millions of dollars to make our workplace a safer, better place. Safety NEVER takes a back seat at Halliburton and if you looked at the hundreds of thousands of man hours worked by Halliburton employees in the Eagle Ford every day against the number of fatalities you would get a clearer, more accurate understanding of Halliburtons commitment to safety. It is truly sad and regretable when anyone, with any company, loses thier life at the work place but for you to make such an uneducated and untrue statement is unfair and typical of people who repeat what they hear instead of learning the truth and making their own decisions. I can assure you that there is a team of Halliburton people looking at what happened in order to generate safeguards, policies and training to try and insure that it never happens again. No one, even you, gets it right 100% of the time. As for the truck drivers, get a license plate and call any Halliburton facility and I am confident that you will be put in touch with someone who will listen to what you have to say and then take appropriate action.
Jason  |  July 19, 2013
I work for Halliburton and I find it hard to believe that there are issues with safety on their part. All of the well sites I have been on are usually a customer that Halliburton is providing a service for, it is not their well site. We have safety meetings every day and once a month everyone in the NE Pennsylvania area have one large safety meeting. With every one always filling out and turning in their HOC cards on safety violations or hazards that have a potential to cause harm, they prevent so many accidents it is amazing. We are preached at all the time that accidents can be prevented. Most the people I have talked to in the company from Texas, California, West Virginia all say that the safety training is inforced everwhere. People just get lazy. It isnt the company that does it, I have worked for them for over two years and the training and safety have always been the main focus. The question is how to make a person become excited about safety and less bored with it. There are hundreds of stories out there but until someone can really relate to it then they will blow it off.
William  |  July 19, 2013
We are based right in the center of the Eagle Ford shale play, Halliburton, everything is booming, so, their safety is taking a back seat to making MONEY, wasnt that way in the past, I have had their truck drivers look me in the eye and then pull out in front of me at the local truck stop, we have lots of accidents theire due to everybody in a hurry. Not all of Halliburtons emlpoyees are careless, but, they have a lot more that are, it is very evident that safety is not their primary concern, I guess all will have to wait for all these shale plays to slow down before Safety will once again be important?
Dan  |  July 19, 2013
Is this a joke> $ 14,000 fine for a fatality incident? Is this a typo or is this how much a workers life is worth in the US?