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OSHA News Release
Region 7

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April 3, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Omaha Company for Exposing Workers
To Trenching Hazards, Proposes $38,061 in Penalties

OMAHA, NE – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Omaha-based plumbing contractor Gavrooden Inc. for the second time in less than six months for failing to protect its workers from excavation collapse hazards. Gavrooden Inc., doing business as Mr. Rooter Plumbing, faces proposed penalties of $38,061.

OSHA inspectors observed employees working in an unprotected trench while repairing a sewer line. OSHA cited the company for one willful and four serious violations for failing to use a protective system to prevent trench collapse; train workers on trenching hazards; and place soil piles a safe distance from the open excavation. OSHA cited the company in November 2017 for similar hazards at another worksite.

“Trenching and excavation are among the most hazardous jobs in construction,” said Jeff Funke, OSHA Omaha Area Office Director. “This employer has endangered workers by disregarding safety requirements to prevent cave-ins.”

OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation Safety booklet describes safe work practices that can protect workers from trench collapse and other hazards.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-4727,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976

Release Number: 18-450-KAN

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