OSHA slaps N.D. company with $454k fine for multiple trench violations

Updated Apr 27, 2018

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Kamphuis Pipeline Company has been cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for exposing employees to a long list of trench cave-in hazards. The fines total $454,750.

Based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, the company was inspected last fall at a job where it was installing water metering pits and lines for the municipalities of Tappen and Dawson, North Dakota. OSHA inspectors determined that Kamphuis Pipeline failed to protect employees from a long list of hazards and did not identify hazards and take corrective action when warranted.

Kamphuis Pipeline is contesting the citation and the case will be reviewed by an independent OSHA commission.

In the 18 page citation, the OSHA listed nine serious violations, six willful violations and two other than serious violations. The citations included such things as:

  • Lack of a stairway, ladder or ramp for safe egress
  • Cave-in hazards
  • Hazards posed by water accumulation
  • Overhead struck-by hazards
  • Failure to wear protective helmets
  • Falling object and electrical hazards
  • Failure of protective systems, hazardous atmospheres
  • Struck-by hazards working in and adjacent to a roadway
  • Workers exposed to vehicular traffic not wearing safety vests provided by employer
  • Exposure to electrical shock hazards with including two portable electrical generators sitting in water while running water pumps
  • Crushing and engulfment hazards/employees did not have means of egress from trench box
  • Gravel being suspended over employees heads while in trench box
  • Competent person failed to remove employees from hazardous situation.
  • Trench box sinking from flowing water
  • Failure to instruct employees in recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions