Working in a grain elevator is a hazardous occupation. In fact OSHA has made the industry an area of emphasis on a national basis, according to the agency's director for the Billings area. The director says it is not unusual for grain elevators to be found in noncompliance with OSHA safety regulations.
This blog has noted on a number of occasions that the oil fields of Montana and North Dakota are hazardous places to work. Now statistics released by the Associated Press show the extent of the danger: North Dakota had more workplace fatalities than any other state in 2011. Ten workers were killed in North Dakota between October 2013 and September 2014; four of those deaths were in the oil fields.
Construction work can be very hazardous. Statistically, falls are the leading cause of fatal accidents in the construction industry. Roofing workers are among the most at risk. Recently the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it would issue a citation to a Missoula roofing and remodeling contractor for not reporting a fatal fall at a worksite within eight hours, as required by law. The company has been cited in the past for unsafe working conditions.
Employers have a legal duty to provide a safe workplace. The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration is charged with enforcing workplace safety regulations to minimize worker injuries and deaths. The usual penalty for an OSHA violation is a fine and an order to remedy the unsafe condition. But one Montana woman wants more justice than that after the death of her brother in a workplace fire. She has asked the Missoula County Attorney to consider criminal charges against the employer.
Working in a factory can be a dangerous way to make a living. The proximity of workers to heavy machinery can lead to injuries and even death. Recently a 28-year-old woman was killed in an on-the-job accident at a sugar processing factory in Lovell, Wyoming. According to a news report, the woman died after falling into some industrial equipment at the plant, which is owned by a co-op that has operations in Montana.
Those who work with heavy machinery in Montana know that there are risks involved. Tragically, those risks were fatal for a Butte man who died when an aerial lift overturned in that city recently.
The oil industry provides a lot of jobs in Montana. The industry is booming, which means steady paychecks for a lot of Montana workers, and steady profits for employers. Unfortunately, some employers attach more importance to profits than to the safety of their workers. Recently, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited a Montana refinery for 3 violations: one willful, one serious and one not serious.
The oil fields of the Bakken Shale have provided good-paying jobs for a lot of Montana workers. But those jobs have come with a downside, as many oil field work accident victims and their families can testify. Oil field work is hazardous and unforgiving. And sometimes it can be fatal. The latest death occurred recently at a well in Toole County, north of Kevin, Montana.
Recent estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey indicate that the Bakken Shale - the oil-rich geological formation that underlies much of North Dakota and reaches into Montana - contains far more oil than previously thought. The USGS now believes the Bakken contains twice as much oil, and three times as much natural gas, as their previous estimates.
Oil field equipment can be very unforgiving. This fact was borne out recently when yet another life was claimed in an oil field accident. A 22-year-old Kalispell, Montana man died after sustaining injuries to his chest and abdomen on a rig north of Watford City, North Dakota.