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Efforts aimed at reducing injuries in ND oil patch

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Officials are working to crack down on worker injuries and deaths in the western North Dakota oil patch.

The oil boom is drawing people from around the country in search of jobs. Dustin Austin with the North Dakota Safety Council says an inexperienced workforce usually leads to more injuries.

Workforce Safety and Insurance says that from 2007-11, employees who were with a company for less than a year filed about half of all claims, but 80 percent of the claims in the oil and gas industry.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently brought in inspectors from half a dozen states to visit worksites in the oil patch. The Safety Council and a group called the MonDak Safety Network also are working to reduce injuries.

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