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Forum News Service, Published July 16 2013

Halliburton fined $14,000 for fatal Oil Patch accident

BISMARCK - For the first time, oil industry giant Halliburton has been cited for workplace safety violations in North Dakota.

A release issued Monday by the U.S. Department of Labor detailed two “serious safety violations” levied against the energy giant in relation to the Jan. 19 death of a Duluth, Minn., man at an oil rig site north of Watford City.

Mike Krajewski died as the result of injuries suffered when a pipe from a high-pressure line dislodged and struck him in the head while he was working on a hydraulic fracturing job.

“The company failed in its responsibility to maintain a worksite free from recognized safety hazards, such as struck-by hazards,” said Eric Brooks, who is based in Bismarck as the area director for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “It is tragic when a worker is killed on the job. Employers must take all precautions to prevent such incidents.”

Halliburton has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request a conference with OSHA officials or contest the findings before an independent OSHA commission. It is required to pay $7,000 for each violation.

A serious violation is levied when it is found that there is “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known,” according to OSHA rules language.