Department of Labor Logo OSHA Regional News Brief - Region 2

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.



March 9, 2016


OSHA: Bergen County contractor willfully exposed workers
to potential trench cave-in at Parsippany worksite

D.S. Meyer Enterprises LLC fined $52,500 for the violation

Employer name: D.S. Meyer Enterprises LLC, 34 Maple Ave. Waldwick, New Jersey

Site: 45 Waterview Blvd., Parsippany, New Jersey

Citations issued: On Feb. 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Parsippany Area Office issued citations for five serious and one willful violation.

Investigation findings: On Jan. 19, 2016, OSHA responded after being notified of an imminent danger created by unprotected trench hazards as workers repaired an underground water line. When OSHA inspectors arrived at the site, they found a worker in an unprotected trench more than 8 feet deep with water accumulating in it from the leaking water main. OSHA subsequently cited D.S. Meyer Enterprises with a willful violation for allowing the worker to be exposed to a cave-in hazard. OSHA also cited the company for failing to ensure that workers in the trench wore hard hats, exposing workers to a spoil pile containing rocks and asphalt just inches from the open trench, and use of an improper ladder for accessing the trench.

OSHA conducted this inspection under its national emphasis program focused on trenches and a local emphasis program on construction.

The employer has 15 business days from receipt of the citation and proposed penalty to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Proposed penalty: $52,500

Quote: "Despite knowing cave-in protection was required, D.S. Meyer Enterprises chose instead to willfully expose workers in that trench to life-threatening conditions," said Kris Hoffman, director of OSHA's Parsippany Area Office. "The fatality rate for excavation work is 112 percent higher than the rate for general construction. Trench protection systems are more than a required OSHA safety standard; they are a matter of life and death."

View the citations:

To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Parsippany Area Office at 973-263-1003.

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Media Contacts:

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102,

Release Number: 16-410-NEW (OSHA 16-024 DS Meyer Enterprise)

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