December 4, 2019
North Dakota Maintenance Supervisor Charged With Obstructing OSHA Investigation Into Death of Cargo Tank Welder
On December 4, 2019, Stephan Reisinger, a maintenance supervisor for Nabors Completion and Production Services (NCPS), a company that services wells, was indicted for obstruction of agency proceedings. The indictment stems from an investigation into a welding accident on October 3, 2014, that killed NCPS employee Dustin Payne, a cargo tank welder.
On October 9, 2014, the day after Payne died, an inspector from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted an inspection of the NCPS location in Williston, North Dakota, that included employee interviews. During his interview on December 11, 2014, Reisinger falsely stated that before the accident (1) he was not aware of any welding on tankers used to transport produced water at NCPS or any hazards associated with the welding; (2) no one had brought the issue of tankers leaking produced water to his attention; and (3) if they had, he would have sent the tankers a third-party company for repairs. Further, Reisinger did not inform OSHA that almost all work orders were prepared after the work had been completed, which prevented management from identifying potential safety issues in advance.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with OSHA, Department of Labor; Environmental Protection Agency–Criminal Investigation Division (CID); and Department of Justice–Environmental Crimes Section.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.