US Dept of Labor

Occupational Safety & Health AdministrationWe Can Help

OSHA News Release - Table of Contents
Trade News Release Banner Image

Region 5 News Release: 11-1587-CHI
Nov. 9, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976      312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Vinton Construction Co. for failing
to provide trench workers with cave-in protection at Brookfield, Wis., site

BROOKFIELD, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Manitowoc utility contractor Vinton Construction Co. for one willful and four serious safety violations for failing to protect workers from cave-ins while performing trenching operations to install water main lines in Brookfield. The company faces proposed penalties of $95,040 following an inspection conducted under OSHA's Trenching and Excavation National Emphasis Program.

"Cave-ins during excavations are a leading cause of worker fatalities," said George Yoksas, OSHA's area director in Milwaukee. "Safety should be paramount on every job site and OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

The willful safety violation, with a proposed penalty of $69,300, was cited for failing to protect workers installing water mains in a trench approximately 6 feet below grade. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

The serious violations, with proposed penalties of $25,740, were cited for failing to keep excavated materials or equipment at least 2 feet from the edge of excavations, have identification tags affixed to chain slings and not performing proper trench inspections. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

One other than serious violation was cited for not maintaining tabulated trench data on the job site. An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

Prior to this inspection, Vinton Construction Co. has been inspected several other times by OSHA and cited for violations of trenching and excavation standards.

OSHA standards mandate that all excavations 5 feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Detailed information on trenching and excavation hazards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/trenchingexcavation/index.html.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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 Milwaukee Area Office at 414-297-3315.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.

###


U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.


OSHA News Release - Table of Contents

Thank You for Visiting Our Website

You are exiting the Department of Labor's Web server.

The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.

Close