March 8, 2021
Former North Dakota Maintenance Supervisor Pleads Guilty in Connection With OSHA Worker Fatality Investigation Into Death of Cargo Tank Welder
On March 8, 2021, Stephan Todd Reisinger pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the District of North Dakota to one count of obstruction of an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proceeding. Reisinger was a maintenance manager at Nabors Completion and Production Services Company (NCPS) in Williston, North Dakota. On October 3, 2014, one of Reisinger’s employees, Dustin Payne, was fatally injured in an explosion at NCPS while welding on an uncleaned tanker trailer that was previously used to transport produced water (a liquid byproduct generated during the extraction of oil and natural gas). During the investigation into Payne’s death, Reisinger falsely stated that he thought “just water” was in the tanks. In his plea agreement, Reisinger admitted to knowing the tanker trailers transported produced water, which can contain flammable chemicals.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with OSHA; the Environmental Protection Agency-Criminal Investigative Division; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.