An oil company has plead guilty to a fatal accident that killed one in Williston, North Dakota. The accident occurred in October of 2014, where a 28-year-old war veteran died when an oil tank exploded. A U.S. District Judge sentenced the company to pay a $500,000 file, $1.6 million in restitution to the victim’s estate and a three-year probation. Although this does not bring the individual back, it sets forth that a mistake was made that lead to a fatal death of an oil field worker.
During the company’s probation – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) must inspect the company’s facilities, equipment across the country without a warrant, without advanced notice, and without a specific inspection reason. This means that at any moment OSHA can show up to inspect the facilities of this business during their probation term. This will hopefully hold them liable and keep them up to date on maintaining their equipment and put in place better safety measures for workers.
With the oil and gas industry being a multi-billion-dollar industry, it can be quite dangerous. From the 2008-2017 the amount of deaths in the oil fields totaled 1,566. It was found that the gentleman that passed away welded an uncleaned tanker trailer that had flammable chemicals. It was also noted that he did not receive any welding-specific training. This implies the need for proper education throughout the oil fields.
When individuals are not properly trained, equipment is poorly maintained, and a lack of education occurs, accidents can befall. Unfortunately, some of these accidents are also fatal. This is what happened to the 28-year-old war veteran who went to work one day and unfortunately passed away from an explosion. It is the duty of employers to maintain equipment, properly train workers, and have proper safety precautions in place.