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Deaths in high-hazard industries send extra OSHA inspectors to North Dakota

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Photo: Giovanni Banfi/iStock/Thinkstock

Bismarck, ND – OSHA is sending additional inspectors into North Dakota as part of an enforcement emphasis program intended to address worker safety concerns in the state’s high-hazard industries.

Thirty-four workers in North Dakota’s oil and gas and construction industries have died since 2012, representing 87 percent of all OSHA-investigated deaths in the state, the agency said in a July 15 press release.

For the past three years, OSHA has had an oil and gas industry emphasis program in North Dakota, which features increased enforcement. The agency also has hosted outreach events with oil and gas employers. Although fatality rates have been decreasing, the oil and gas and construction industries are still dangerous, OSHA said, leading to the decision to send in compliance officers from across the country to temporarily increase the agency’s field presence in the state.

“No death is ever acceptable, and these industries are still hazardous for North Dakota's workers,” Eric Brooks, OSHA area director in Bismarck, said in the release. “OSHA will continue to use its full enforcement authority – along with these new outreach efforts – to achieve the goal of every worker going home safely each day to their loved ones.”