Illinois Construction Company Fined for Safety Violations

Violations lodged against the company allege it allowed workers to perform trenching and excavation work at depths of up to 8 feet without cave-in protection.

OSHA has cited highway construction company R. A. Cullinan and Son Inc. in Tremont, Ill., a division of United Contractors Midwest Inc., with one alleged willful and two serious alleged safety violations, including allowing workers to perform trenching and excavation work at depths of up to 8 feet without cave-in protection. The citations carry total penalties of $71,550.

OSHA's inspection, initiated in April, cited R. A. Cullinan and Son with one alleged willful violation for failing to provide cave-in protection for workers performing trenching and excavation work in Tazewell County, Ill.

Cave-in protection is required when employees are working in an excavation at a depth greater than 5 feet. The violation has a proposed fine of $63,000.

A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Additionally, the company was issued two serious violations with proposed penalties of $8,550 for failing to provide a means of egress within 25 feet of employees working in an excavation and failing to barricade the swing radius of an excavator.

The company was also inspected by OSHA in 2006, resulting in two serious citations for failing to protect workers in trenching operations, and in 2005, when two willful violations were issued for failing to protect workers from cave-in hazards while performing trenching operations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its latest citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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