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Illinois firm fined for failing to provide trench workers with cave-in protection

August 8, 2011
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OSHA has cited Martin & Company Excavating Inc., an underground utility construction and earth-moving company in Oregon, Ill., for one willful and three serious safety violations for failing to protect workers from cave-ins during trenching operations at a Forreston work site.

  The company faces proposed penalties of $69,300 following a May inspection, which was conducted under the agency's Trenching and Excavation National Emphasis Program.

The willful violation, with a proposed penalty of $56,000, was cited for failing to protect workers who were installing a water line in a trench approximately eight feet below grade. During the trenching operation, the water line was damaged and flooded the trench, which did not have cave-in protection. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

The serious violations, with proposed penalties of $13,300, include failing to have a competent employee on site to ensure workers were removed from the trench when there was evidence of an unsafe situation which could result in a possible cave-in; failing to equip an adjacent section of pavement that was hanging over the trench with a support system to protect employees from possible collapse; and failing to keep excavated materials or equipment at least two feet from the edge of excavations.

 

 

 

 

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