October 14, 2021
Former North Dakota Maintenance Supervisor Sentenced for Obstruction of OSHA Investigation Into Death of Cargo Tank Welder
On October 14, 2021, the U.S. District Court for North Dakota sentenced Stephan Reisinger to time served, 18 months of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment. On March 8, Reisinger pleaded guilty 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, an NCPS employee was fatally injured in an explosion while welding on an uncleaned tanker trailer that had been used to transport produced water, a liquid byproduct generated during the extraction of oil and natural gas. During OSHA’s investigation into the employee’s death, Reisinger falsely stated that “just water” was in the tanks but, in the plea agreement, admitted to knowing the tanker trailers transported produced water, which can contain flammable chemicals.
DOT-OIG conducted the investigation with OSHA; the EPA-Criminal Investigative Division; and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.