The inspection was prompted after a worker was killed after being caught in the agitator of an oil field vacuum truck storage tank on March 14.
"First Choice Energy failed to develop and implement the most basic of confined space and energy control safety protocols," said Eric Brooks, OSHA's area director in Bismarck.
Five of the nine citations involve violations of OSHA's confined space requirements, including lack of atmospheric testing, permitting, signs and emergency response procedures.
Other citations involve not properly protecting workers from open pit fall hazards, lack of energy control and lockout/tagout procedures and equipment, failing to conduct annual inspections of energy control procedures and to train workers on such procedures.
A confined space has limited or restricted means for entry or exit, and it is not designed for continuous employee occupancy. Confined space hazards are addressed in specific standards. For more information see, http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/confinedspaces/index.html.
OSHA has proposed penalties of $33,000.