Sioux Falls Company Cited after Equipment Operator Suffers Serious Injuries in Trench Cave-in

Kempf Construction was cited for five serious safety violations.

After an equipment operator suffered severe injuries while working in a trench in October of 2016, OSHA has cited Kempf Construction for five serious safety violations. According to the agency, dirt fell into a trench box where the man was working and collapsed on him.

The agency determined the Sioux Falls-based company failed to protect employees working in a trench, failed to slope the sides of the trench, failed to properly place a ladder, and more.

"Kempf Construction's failure to adhere to OSHA standards to protect workers in trenches has resulted in debilitating injuries to this man. They will likely affect him and his ability to make a living for the rest of his life. In 2016, more than two dozen workers were injured and at least 22 killed in trenches nationwide. Trench deaths have more than doubled since 2015. This is an alarming trend that must be halted," said Sheila Stanley, OSHA's area director in Sioux Falls. "Excavating companies need to re-examine their safety procedures to ensure they are taking all available precautions - including installing trench boxes, shoring and other means to prevent unexpected shifts in the soil that can cause walls to collapse."

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