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.
"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.