An oilfield company has been ordered to pay more than $2 million in damages related to a worker fatality at its Williston, North Dakota facility.
C&J Well Services – formerly called Nabors Completion and Production Services (NCPS) – pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to a willful violation of a federal statute requiring that tanks be cleaned before welding.
News sources say 28-year-old Dustin Payne was welding an uncleaned tanker trailer that contained flammable chemicals when the tank exploded, fatally injuring him. Payne had not received any welding-specific training.
“Companies have an obligation to educate North Dakota workers and when they fail to meet those obligations, we will hold them accountable,” U.S. Attorney Drew H. Wrigley of North Dakota said.
U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland ordered C&J to pay a $500,000 file, $1.6 million in restitution to the victim’s estate, and a three-year term of probation.
During the probation period, the company must allow the OSHA to “inspect its facilities and equipment across the country without a warrant, without advance notice and without a specified inspection reason,” according to the press release.