The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration is bringing investigators from around the country to support North Dakota in their focused enforcement of high-hazard industries. These industries are the oil and gas and construction industries, which have accounted for 34 work-related deaths since January of 2012. This accounts for 87 percent of all workplace fatalities investigated by OSHA in the state of North Dakota.

“These industries are inherently dangerous, and workers are exposed to multiple hazards every day. Their safety must not be compromised because demand for production keeps increasing,” said Eric Brooks, OSHA’s area director in Bismarck. “Workers are coming to these growing industries to find jobs, not catastrophic injury and preventable death. These employers have a legal responsibility to protect every employee that works for them.”

If you own a business in either the oil and gas or construction industry in North Dakota, it is time to review your occupational safety and health policies and procedures. If they have not been properly audited recently, or if you do not have a working set of policies and procedures to account for all workplace hazards, it is imperative you focus your efforts on bringing your company up to code before OSHA finds you. This could include all steps up to and including contacting a qualified third party occupational safety and health auditing firm to help you identify your hazards and create practical solutions for protecting employees from them.

If you have any questions about this new focused enforcement or about establishing acceptable safety and health policies, please contact us. If you would like to add anything about the importance of preparing yourself for this focused enforcement in North Dakota, please leave a comment.