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Former oil field manager pleads guilty to lying to OSHA

oil field

The former manager of an oil field has pleaded guilty to a felony charge of obstructing Occupational Safety and Health Administration proceedings after the death of a worker, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.

Stephan Reisinger, a maintenance manager at Nabors Completion and Production Services Co., was charged with supervising about 40 employees at an oil field in Williston, North Dakota. On Oct. 3, 2014, 28-year-old Dustin Payne died after the uncleaned tanker trailer that had previously carried flammable liquid waste from an oil well exploded, according to the DOJ.

Federal law forbids welding on tanks that have not been thoroughly cleaned to remove all explosion hazards.

In the plea agreement, Mr. Reisinger admitted to knowing the tanker trailers carried the waste, and that he made false statements in an interview with OSHA, including that he did not know of the hazards and composition of the waste, and that he falsely stated he thought the tank just carried water, the DOJ said. 

The corporate successor to Nabors, C&J Well Services Inc., also pleaded guilty to charges related to Mr. Payne’s death and was ordered in 2019 to pay $2.1 million in fines and restitution.







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