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OSHA proposes $454,000 fine in oil drilling site explosion

| May 11, 2022 8:00 AM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigators have determined that an oil company's failure to take adequate safety precautions contributed to a drilling site explosion near Grassy Butte last November that permanently disabled one worker and left two others with serious injuries.

The investigation alleges KLX Wireline carelessly transported explosive materials and failed to take required precautions to protect workers and the public during blasting operations.

The workers were injured when a perforating gun detonated as workers assembled a blasting cap on it to send down a well near Grassy Butte.

"These individuals suffered serious injuries simply for doing their job," said OSHA Area Director Scott Overson in Bismarck. "KLX Wireline LLC's willful failure to follow federal standards is unacceptable and a violation of their employees' rights to a safe workplace."

OSHA has proposed penalties of about $454,000. The company has 15 business days to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before an independent review commission.

OSHA also proposed a penalty of about $14,500 for Brigade Energy exposing workers to hazards during the handling of explosives during perforating operations. Two of the workers were employed by Brigade Energy. KLX employed the worker who suffered disabling injuries.

KLX Wireline is a subsidiary of KLX Energy Services. The company did not immediately return a phone call for comment.