South Dakota Company Cited for Trench Cave-in Hazards

OSHA cites Midwest Excavating LLC at Sioux Falls jobsite for exposing employees to trench cave-in hazards. Fines are totaling to $58,343 in penalties.

After OSHA inspected a South Dakota jobsite, the agency cited Midwest Excavating LLC for failing to protect employees from one willful and one serious trench hazard. Inspectors determined that on the jobsite, there was a potential for trench collapse due to the presence of water, vertical walls, and a depth greater than seven feet.

For any trench deeper than five feet, OSHA regulations require the use of trench protective systems to prevent cave-ins. Trench cave-ins can be prevented by “sloping, shoring, or shielding trench walls,” says Sheila Stanley, Sioux Falls Area Director.

OSHA also recently updated the National Emphasis Program on preventing trenching and excavation collapses and developed a series of compliance assistance resources. The agency’s trenching and excavation webpage provides additional information on trenching hazards and solutions.

Midwest Excavating LLC has fifteen days upon receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Read more about this topic from the OSHA news release posted Aug. 20.

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