Chicago Company Allegedly Put Workers at Risk from Cave-Ins

OSHA cites Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co. and proposes more than $100,000 in fines.

OSHA announced it has cited Chicago-based Pan-Oceanic Engineering, Co. and proposed $105,600 in fines against it for allegedly exposing workers to trenching hazards. OSHA's inspection was prompted after an employee was seen working in an unprotected trench that was more than 8 feet deep.

OSHA found the company at fault for failing to provide cave-in protection for employees in a trench, which resulted in one willful violation -- issued when OSHA concludes it has been committed "with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for, or plain indifference to, employee safety and health."

The company also faces two repeat violations for allegedly failing to post legible traffic signs at hazardous points in a construction zone and for allowing an employee to access an unsupported trench beneath a street. The company faced similar violations at a Chicago job site in May 2010. In addition, the company also received one serious citation for allegedly allowing a worker to access a trench after deficiencies were found at the site.

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