Contractor cited for 12 violations, including 4 willful, for cave-in safety

Contractor Cited for 12 Violations, Including 4 Willful, for Cave-In Safety

The Missouri company with previous violations faces penalties of $796,000

A Missouri company has been cited for 12 violations regarding cave-in safety with fines totaling $796,817. 

According to a press release, Arrow Plumbing, a contractor in Blue Springs, Missouri, is being fined for allegedly not keeping workers safe from cave-ins while working in trenches. OSHA inspected the company in October 2021 and cited them for four willful violations, one repeat violation and seven serious violations.

The serious violations relate to water accumulation in the trenches, potentially compromising the trench walls, excavation materials being too close to the trench, and two violations for not protecting workers from cave-ins.

“Even though Arrow Plumbing and owner Rick Smith agreed to implement a comprehensive trench safety program after a previous fatal trench collapse, employees were again found to be working in an unprotected trench,” said OSHA Area Director Karena Lorek in Kansas City, Missouri said in the press release.

This is not Arrow Plumbing’s first violations. In 2016, a worker died when a trench collapsed. Following an investigation, two years later Arrow agreed to hire a safety consultant and pay $225,000 in fines. The release states they did not hire a consultant until three years later, and has only paid a portion of the fines. OSHA cited the company in 2020 for work in an unprotected trench, but it contested these.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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