BELTON, Mo. — A Missouri plumbing company has been fined more than $700,000 for workplace safety violations, including an employee’s death.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited Arrow Plumbing LLC for the death of 33-year-old Donald “D.J.” Meyer and for allegedly failing to take steps to prevent other employees from dying the same way, the Kansas City Star reported .

“I just could not believe it,” said Theresa O’Hare, Meyer’s mother. “Why couldn’t this man (Arrow owner Ricky Smith) understand or learn his lesson from the death of my son?”

Meyer died in December after the walls of a 12-foot trench without proper shoring caved in on him as he was working on a sewer line in Belton.

Less than half of Arrow’s fine was for the four serious and three willful violations of workplace safety rules that the safety agency said occurred on the Belton job site.

Agency officials said the main rule Arrow broke was its failure to provide a trench box or other shoring that would likely have prevented the cave-in. Another cited deficiency was the lack of any training in trench safety.

The rest of the fine was levied for the same number of serious and willful violations found at a second work site. OSHA responded to a complaint at Arrow’s Kansas City, North, job site just weeks after Meyer’s body was recovered at Belton.

The company is appealing the fines. Smith said Arrow is still open.

No charges have been filed against Arrow. OSHA typically gives fines in response to fatalities that are the result of safety violations.


Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com