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OSHA Regional News Brief
Region 5

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.


June 3, 2015


Suburban General Construction Inc. exposes worker to trench cave-in hazards
while repairing water lines in River Forest, Illinois

Employer name: Suburban General Construction Inc., 1019 E. 31st Street, La Grange Park, Illinois

Investigation site: 1515 Lathrop Ave., River Forest, Illinois

Date investigation initiated and what prompted inspection: On Jan. 16, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration's office initiated an inspection under the National Emphasis Program on Trenching after witnessing a worker exposed to trenching hazards.

Investigation findings: An employee was performing repair work on a water service line in a trench that was more than six feet deep. OSHA cited one willful citation for failing to provide cave-in protection. OSHA standards require the use of cave-in protection in a trench 5 feet or deeper.

Proposed Penalties: $42,350

Quote: "Unprotected trenches can become gravesites in seconds. Violations of OSHA's trench protection standards remain a pervasive condition in this industry and it needs to stop," said Angeline Loftus, OSHA's area director at is Chicago North Office in Des Plaines. "No worker's life should be at risk for a job."

Proposed Penalties: $42,350

To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Chicago North Area Office at 847-803-4800.


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Media Contacts:

Scott Allen, 312-353-6976,
Rhonda Burke, 312-353-6976,

Release Number: 15-1089-CHI

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