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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and a Michigan-based excavation contractor have reached a settlement agreement over trenching and excavation violations from 2017 in south central North Dakota.

As a result, Kamphuis Pipeline Co. will close and pay fines of $509,071 for exposing workers to trench cave-in hazards while installing water metering pits and lines at a project site in Logan and Kidder counties.

OSHA, a division of the U.S. Department of Labor, inspected worksites in the fall of 2017 after receiving a complaint. The company was cited in early 2018 and contested the violations.

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The agreement also requires the company to dissolve its corporate status in South Dakota. Owner Daniel Kamphuis has also agreed to surrender his North Dakota contractor license. 

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"Workers in trenches must be protected to prevent deadly consequences," Loren Sweatt, principal deputy assistant secretary for OSHA, said in a statement. "This agreement demonstrates employers must take their responsibilities under the law seriously to protect workers."

Kamphuis Pipeline Co. did not return a phone message for comment.

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Reach Jack Dura at 701-250-8225 or jack.dura@bismarcktribune.com.

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