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U.S. workplace safety regulators have cited a Michigan excavation contractor for exposing employees to trench cave-ins and other serious hazards while installing water metering pits and lines at a North Dakota municipal project and proposed fines totaling $454,750.
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Grand Rapids, Michigan-based excavation contractor Kamphuis Pipeline Co. after inspecting the water project site in September and October 2017, according to an agency statement on Tuesday.
OSHA inspectors determined 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, according to the statement. The company also did not identify hazards and take corrective action when warranted, according to OSHA.
“Trenching and excavation are among the most hazardous construction operations, and employers have an obligation to follow safety requirements designed to protect their workers,” Eric Brooks, OSHA’s Bismarck area office director, said in the statement. “This employer’s failure to install protective systems put workers at risk of serious injuries from a trench collapse.”
The company has contested the citations, so the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission will review the case, according to the statement.
A company spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment.
U.S. workplace safety regulators have cited an Ohio roofing contractor for exposing employees to falls and other safety hazards and have proposed penalties totaling $138,394.