OSHA Cites Chicago Company for Repeat Violations

The agency has cited Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co., an engineering company, for allegedly failing to protect workers from construction hazards.

OSHA has cited Chicago-based Pan-Oceanic Engineering Co. for the second time this year for failure to protect workers from trenching hazards at a job site in the city. OSHA has cited the company with willful violations totaling $147,000 in proposed fines, according to a press release from the agency. The company was previously cited for failing to protect workers from trench cave-ins while installing water and sewer lines in November 2013.

OSHA opened this inspection under its National Emphasis Program for trenching and excavation, and the company was placed under the Severe Violator Enforcement Program in January 2014 for alleged failure to adhere to trenching standards.

During the most recent inspection, OSHA issued two willful violations for failure to protect workers from cave-in hazards while working in a trench that exceeded five feet in depth and failure to support the street pavement above the trench from collapsing on the workers. In addition, OSHA issued a serious violation after "a competent person found evidence of potential cave-in hazards and failed to remove employees from the hazardous conditions," according to the release.

"It is completely unacceptable that Pan-Oceanic Engineering continues to put workers at such great risk," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director in Calumet City. "Since 2003, this company has been cited multiple times for violations of trenching standards, which result in numerous fatalities and injuries every year. Pan-Oceanic Engineering's repeat violations demonstrate a lack of commitment to the safety of its workers.”

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