OSHA Cites Contractor for Exposing Workers to Trenching, Other Safety Hazards

“Trenching and excavation are among the most hazardous construction operations, and employers have an obligation to follow safety requirements designed to protect their workers,” OSHA Bismarck Area Office Director Eric Brooks.

OSHA has cited excavation contractor Kamphuis Pipeline Company for exposing workers to trench cave-ins and other safety hazards while installing water metering pits and lines. Kamphuis Pipeline Company faces proposed penalties of $454,750.

After an investigation of the Logan and Kidder Counties water project site in September and October 2017, OSHA determined that the company failed to protect employees from struck-by hazards, did not place excavated soil piles far enough away from trench edges, and failed to utilize appropriate protective systems during trenching operations. The company did not identify hazards and take corrective action when necessary.

“Trenching and excavation are among the most hazardous construction operations, and employers have an obligation to follow safety requirements designed to protect their workers,” OSHA Bismarck Area Office Director Eric Brooks. “This employer’s failure to install protective systems put workers at risk of serious injuries from a trench collapse.”

Kamphuis Pipeline Company has contested the citations. The case will be reviewed by an independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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