OSHA Cites Four Companies After Worker Suffers Fatal Injuries

The agency says the companies violated confined space safety regulations while working on a renovation of the Springfield Metro Sanitary District's Sugar Creek Plant.

OSHA announced an enforcement case against four companies after a 42-year-old worker suffered fatal blunt force injuries when an inflatable bladder ruptured at a Springfield, Ill., wastewater treatment plant last October. OSHA said its inspectors found the employer, Henderson Construction of Central Illinois Inc., failed to train the employee properly.

The company was also cited for failing to manage how and when workers entered the large round pipe as well as confined space-related violations. These are some of the first citations given under the new construction confined space standard, which took effect Aug. 15, 2015.

"Workers can be killed when employers fail to protect construction workers from the many dangers in confined spaces," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. "These are among the first citations under OSHA's new confined space standard. Employers can prevent more tragedies like this one if they ensure proper training of workers and communication among multiple employers whose workers are on the same site."

The companies were contractors working on a $54.4 million renovation of the Springfield Metro Sanitary District's Sugar Creek Plant. OSHA on April11 issued citations to Henderson, Williams Brothers Inc. (the controlling contractor on the site), and subcontractors Tobin Bros. and Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc. for multiple safety violations:

  • Henderson Construction: cited for five serious violations including failing to train workers to operate equipment. The company faces proposed penalties of $35,000.
  • Tobin Bros., cited for 13 serious violations with penalties of $44,800.
  • Williams Bros., cited for two serious violations with penalties of $10,800.
  • Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, cited for six serious violations with penalties of $30,000.
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