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OSHA News Release
Region 8

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April 17, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Contractor for Exposing Workers to
Trenching, Other Safety Hazards on North Dakota Municipal Project

KIDDER COUNTY, ND – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited excavation contractor Kamphuis Pipeline Company for exposing employees to trench cave-ins and other serious hazards while installing water metering pits and lines. The company faces proposed penalties of $454,750.

OSHA inspected the Logan and Kidder Counties water project site in September and October 2017. Inspectors determined that 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. The company did not identify hazards and take corrective action when warranted.

“Trenching and excavation are among the most hazardous construction operations, and employers have an obligation to follow safety requirements designed to protect their workers,” said Eric Brooks, OSHA Bismarck Area Office Director. “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. The case will be reviewed by an independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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: 18-368-DAK

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