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Welder killed in explosion at workplace in Williston area

WILLISTON, N.D. -- A 28-year-old Marine combat veteran died Wednesday after an explosion at his workplace in the Williston area. Dustin Payne, of Hazel Green, Ala., worked as a welder for Nabors Completion and Production Services. Scott Overson, ...

 

 

WILLISTON, N.D. - A 28-year-old Marine combat veteran died Wednesday after an explosion at his workplace in the Williston area.

Dustin Payne, of Hazel Green, Ala., worked as a welder for Nabors Completion and Production Services.

Scott Overson, acting area director at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Bismarck office, said Nabors Completion and Production Services contacted his office Wednesday about the death.

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The federal agency was told Payne was welding when the accident occurred. Overson said Thursday that compliance officers were en route to investigate.

Williston Fire Chief Jason Catrambone said the city ambulance was dispatched to an explosion northwest of Williston at 3:56 p.m.

The ambulance transported Payne to the Mercy Medical Center in Williston, then flown to Trinity Health in Minot.

Payne listed Nabors Drilling as his employer on Facebook, but the company said Payne was not an employee, referring questions to Nabors Completion and Production Services in Williston, which could not be reached for comment.

North Dakota is among the most dangerous states to work in, according to recent a study.

The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the nation's largest labor federation, released a report in May showing North Dakota having the highest worker death rate in the country, with 17.7 fatalities per 100,000 employees in 2012. That rate was a dramatic increase from the seven deaths per 100,000 workers recorded in 2007, the year before the Bakken oil boom began.

North Dakota also had the highest worker fatality rate in the nation in 2011, with 12.4 deaths per 100,000 employees that year, according to the AFL-CIO. The national worker fatality rate was 3.5 deaths per 100,000 employees in 2011.

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