When a federal inspector drove past a west suburban worksite last month, he notified OSHA of workers being exposed to cave-in hazards, and following an inspection, the contractor is being hit with a $73,000 fine.
Wauconda-based Berger Excavating Contractors Inc. was cited for two safety violations for “failing to provide cave-in protection to workers installing a water main in a trench approximately seven feet deep” and “failing to provide a means of safe access and egress during trenching and excavation work,” according to a statement from OSHA.
The agency initiated the inspection after one of its inspectors saw apparent cave-in hazards at a Berger construction site in Franklin Park on March 20, the statement said. Proposed penalties could total $73,260.
OSHA also cited Berger in August 2010 and July 2011 for failing to provide cave-in protection, according to OSHA.
“These types of hazards result in numerous fatalities and injuries every year,” said Diane Turek, OSHA area director. “Employers that are repeatedly cited for violations of standards unique to their industry demonstrate a lack of commitment to worker safety and health. No job should cost a worker’s life due to an employer’s failure to properly protect and train workers.”
OSHA mandates “all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse,” the statement said.
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