Labor Department Sues Northern Excavating
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Labor is accusing a North Dakota company of forbidding federal inspectors access to a sand and gravel mine to investigate workplace safety complaints.

The agency filed a lawsuit against Jamestown-based Northern Excavating Co. The document says inspectors were denied entry to the mine at least three times since May.

Company owner Robert Lindberg did not return telephone calls from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Court documents say the Mine Safety and Health Administration received complaints in April alleging several violations, including the failure to provide protective equipment for workers.

Administration spokesman Jesse Lawder says the agency is awaiting a ruling by a judge on the issue. He says investigators may then turn to U.S. Marshals to gain entry into the site.