Illinois Contractor Faces Over $118K in Proposed Penalties, Repeat Violations After OSHA Finds Cave-In Hazards

Illinois Contractor Faces Over $118K in Proposed Penalties, Repeat Violations After OSHA Finds Cave-In Hazards

The contractor was cited twice before for these hazards.

An Illinois excavating contractor is facing citations after OSHA found workers exposed to cave-ins while working in a seven-foot trench.

According to a news release, an inspector discovered that two workers were not “adequate[ly]” protected from cave-ins and had no means of trench entry or exit that were safe when working in the trench in June 2022.

Lamp Concrete Contractors Inc. was cited for five violations: three repeat, one serious and one other-than-serious. The company faces proposed penalties of $118,962.

"In mere seconds, thousands of pounds of soil can trap a worker in a trench collapse and lead to serious and often fatal injuries," explained U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration Chicago North Area Director Angeline Loftus in Arlington Heights, Illinois in the news release. "Our inspector found that a company foreman was supervising the work of two employees in the unprotected trench, which demonstrates the company's lack of concern for federal regulations, industry-recognized best practices and its legal responsibility to protect workers on the job."

This is not the first time the company has been cited by OSHA for cave-in hazards. In 2018 and 2021, A. Lamp Concrete received citations for this hazard.

Twenty-two workers died from trench hazards in the first six months of 2022 compared to 15 worker deaths from these hazards in 2021. This spurred OSHA to announce in July 2022 an increase in oversight and enhanced enforcement.

Photo credit: BY-_-BY / Shutterstock.com

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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