Under an agreement with federal safety officials, a Grand Rapids, Michigan, pipeline company will close down and pay just over $509,000 for exposing workers to serious trenching and excavation hazards.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said the agreement with Kamphuis Pipeline Co. – approved by Judge Patrick B. Augustine of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission in Denver, Colorado – resolves three OSHA inspections conducted at Kamphuis Pipeline worksites in September and October 2017.
Investigators found that the company repeatedly exposed employees to trench cave-in hazards while workers installed water metering pits and lines. The company also failed to follow other requirements for working safely in trenches and excavations.
The settlement agreement requires Kamphuis Pipeline Co. to pay the penalties, voluntarily terminate all operations, and dissolve the company’s corporate status in South Dakota.
Company owner and founder Daniel J. Kamphuis agreed to surrender his North Dakota contractor license. Both he and the company also agreed not to have any ownership or managerial interest in any construction business conducting trenching and excavation activities within the U.S. in the future. They may engage in such activities in other capacities but must notify OSHA and take appropriate training if they intend to resume such work.
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