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OSHA cites West Lafayette, Ind., excavator for dangerous safety violations during trenching job in Danville, Ill. (11/30)

November 30, 2009

OSHA has cited Atlas Excavating Inc. in West Lafayette, Ind., with two alleged willful violations for failing to follow federal workplace safety standards at a trenching operation in Danville. Proposed penalties total $130,200, according to an agency press release.

OSHA opened an inspection in May 2009 at excavation jobsites in Danville after receiving information that employees were working in excavations as deep as 8 feet without cave-in protection. As a result of the inspection, OSHA has issued two willful violations to the company for failing to protect workers from cave-in hazards and one serious violation for failing to provide workers in a trench a means of exit.

"It has long been known that cave-in fatalities are entirely preventable," said OSHA Area Director Nick Walters in Peoria, Ill. "Any employer involved in trenching and excavation can protect its workers by following OSHA's clear regulations. Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of workers and their families."

Atlas Excavating has been inspected in Indiana by OSHA seven times since 2000 with numerous serious violations issued.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations