OSHA: Excavation company puts workers at risk of trench cave-ins

Employer faces $69K in penalties

Posted May 11, 2016

OSHA cited a Chicago plumbing company for one willful and one repeated safety violation for not providing cave-in protection or a safe means of exit for employees installing a water line in a trench more than 6 feet deep.

The agency opened an investigation under OSHA's National Emphasis Program on trenching and excavation after observing two employees working in the unprotected trench at a residential home under construction on March 10, 2015.

“An unprotected trench can bury a worker under thousands of pounds of soil in seconds and cause severe or fatal injuries,” said Angeline Loftus, OSHA's area director at its Chicago North Office in Des Plaines.

The company is facing proposed penalties of $69,300.


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