BP pays $6,300 fine in worker's death

Posted: Sunday, July 06, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. paid a $6,300 fine imposed by the state for the death of a North Slope worker in December.

A heftier, $11,200 fine imposed on BP contractor NORCON Inc. is still pending. The state office of Occupational Safety and Health cited both companies for lax safety training and procedures.

The fines stem from an accident Dec. 21, 2002 that occurred when Soldotna resident Rodney ''Rooster'' Rost was welding a pipe at the Prudhoe Bay oil field. Pressure in the pipe blew out a metal plug that struck him, killing him instantly. The pressure was caused by water that froze in a vent line and kept nitrogen from escaping.

Rost was not using a pressure gauge on the job. The state safety office said the two companies should have required a pressure gauge for the welding job and the workers should have been better trained.

BP spokesman Daren Beaudo said the company is deeply saddened by the accident and committed to safety improvements. The fine was paid Thursday.

NORCON president Bill Morrow said his company is still negotiating with the state over its two citations.

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