Forum News Service, Published October 17 2013
Dickinson man exposed to hydrogen sulfide in fatal oilfield accidentMANNING, N.D. - A Dickinson man was exposed to hydrogen sulfide in an oilfield accident Oct. 9 that led to his death two days later, according to a Dunn County Sheriff’s Office report.
The Bismarck office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not dispatch a staff member to see the Driven Services worksite until nearly a week after the accident.
Law requires an employer to contact OSHA about a workplace fatality within eight hours of the death, so OSHA heard of Ryan Provancher’s death about 11 p.m. Oct. 11. The office was closed the following Monday for Columbus Day, and then had to call back a furloughed worker who visited the site Tuesday, said Eric Brooks, area director for the OSHA office.
The incident remains under investigation, so Brooks said he couldn’t elaborate on what the staff member observed.
A co-worker told Dunn County deputies that a pipe broke loose and “shot out a cloud of H2S gas” as he and Provancher, 25, were replacing pipes inside a building. Provancher was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson, where he died Oct. 11.
A hospital spokeswoman said she couldn’t elaborate on the exact cause of death.
A Driven Services representative said he wouldn’t comment while the accident was under investigation.