Following the death of an employee in a trench collapse, Arrow Plumbing LLC has admitted to willfully violating OSHA safety standards by failing to require and enforce the use of trench boxes or other trench protection techniques at a home construction site in Belton, Missouri. The worker was in an unprotected trench when it collapsed on him as he worked.

Company will hire safety professional, train employees

Under terms of a stipulation and settlement agreement entered before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the Blue Springs, Missouri, company – and its successor company R2 Plumbing LLC – agreed to implement several safety enhancements. 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 company will also pay a civil monetary penalty of $225,000.

Not the first fatality

The agreement resolves similar violations cited following a December 2016 trench fatality and a January 2017 inspection where OSHA observed company employees working in an unprotected trench.

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 help 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