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Arrow Plumbing LLC Admits to Willfully Violating Safety Standards

Missouri company has had a history of not protecting workers in trenches.

Blue Springs, Mo.-based Arrow Plumbing LLC continues to be under OSHA's enforcement eye after willfully admitting to violating the agency's standards.

The plumbing subcontractor faces a civil monetary penalty of $225,000 after a Dec.15, 2016 trench collapse left 33-year-old worker Donald Meyer dead.

“Trenching and excavation work can be extremely dangerous,” said OSHA Acting Regional Administrator Bonita Winingham in a statement. “This settlement serves as a commitment by the employer to abate the identified workplace hazards, and implement additional safety measures to make their workplaces safer. The employer has also committed to ensuring continuous compliance with OSHA safety standards to prevent tragedies such as trench collapses from recurring.”

Arrow Plumbing LLC has ­admitted to willfully violating safety standards ­by failing to require and enforce the use of trench boxes or other trench protection techniques ­at the home construction site in Belton, Mo. where Meyer's death occurred. 

While working in a 12-ft-deep unprotected trench, the walls collapsed around Meyer, burying him in 10 ft. of dirt. Rescue crews did not recover his body until that night.

The company agreed to implement several safety enhancements, according to the agency. These include hiring a safety consultant to design and implement a trench safety program, and conduct safety and health audits; providing extensive training for employees; reporting trenching-related incidents and near misses to OSHA; conducting meetings at new worksites to address hazards; and completing OSHA construction, and trenching and excavation training courses.

The agreement resolves similar violations cited following the trench fatality and a January 2017 subsequent inspection where OSHA observed company employees working in an unprotected trench.

 

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