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OSHA Cites Cyclone Drilling For Safety Violations

OSHA LogoOSHA cites Cyclone Drilling for safety violations in North Dakota oil field; proposed fines total $65,600


BISMARCK, N.D. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cyclone Drilling Inc. with two repeat, five serious, and one other than serious violation of safety and health standards for exposing workers on an oil drilling rig to electrical, fire and fall hazards, among others, in an oil field near Ray. Proposed penalties total $65,600.

Cyclone Drilling Inc. was inspected under the OSHA Bismarck Area Office's Problem Solving Initiative, which aims to prevent injuries and fatalities while also raising the safety and health awareness of employers in the oil drilling and construction activities of North Dakota's western region.

The repeat violations include exposing employees to a potential 26 foot fall hazard as they worked on the drilling floor next to an open V-door, the area where drill pipe sections are brought onto the drilling floor, and a non-functional eye wash station used to prevent injury in the event of corrosive materials entering the eyes. A repeat citation is issued when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, or rule at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Cyclone Drilling Inc. was cited for an open side platform in 2008 at a Lambert. Mont., facility and for a violation related to an eye wash station in Meeker, Colo., in 2010.

The serious violations include failing to install connecting pins in the derrick, repair damaged stairs, provide an operable fire extinguisher, guard rotating machinery parts, provide electrical covers, and repair or replace damaged and improperly strung flexible cords. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

"The hazards discovered during this inspection are well-recognized within the industry and easily can be corrected to protect employees from needless injuries," said Tom Deutscher, director of OSHA's Bismarck Area Office. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers on the job."

Gillette, Wyo.–based Cyclone Drill Inc. has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Comment by Alan Fortune on April 11, 2012 at 3:05pm

Hi there,

YES, it is ALWAYS the little things that 'bite you'.

All of the cited conditions are visible on most rigs in one way or another.

Poor observations by the crew, and correcting what is seen, because it is 'not my area', are common.

We MUST ALL keep our eyes open and instantly correct these 'small' things, otherwise they will create an undesirable situation or incident.

Comment by james adams on April 12, 2012 at 2:57am

who the blame? osha ?the drilling company?the operator? take the extra hours getter rigged up right.

on top of that  it not no fun  finish rigging up  between connections..

Comment by Jeana Winchester on April 13, 2012 at 5:50am
You would think that since Cyclone already has such a bad reputation, they would be taking steps to improve!!
Comment by Geowhiz on April 13, 2012 at 6:39am

Maybe Cyclone should quit hiring so many meth heads.  

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