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Region 5 News Release: 13-1746-CHI
Sept. 17, 2013
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:       312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

Cross Construction cited by OSHA for recurring trenching violations
at job site in Danville, Ill.
Company placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program

URBANA, Ill. – Cross Construction Inc. has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for three safety violations, including two repeat, for failing to protect workers from cave-ins during trenching operations that involved installing sewer pipes and manholes at a job site in Danville. OSHA initiated an inspection of the Urbana-based company on May 1 after receiving a complaint that alleged cave-in hazards. OSHA has proposed $75,460 in penalties.

"Cave-ins are the leading cause of injury and death in excavation," said Tom Bielema, OSHA's area director in Peoria. "Repeat violations of a well-known safety hazard in the trenching industry demonstrate a disregard for workers' safety by Cross Construction."

Two repeat violations were cited for failing to provide a means of safe access and egress during trenching and excavation work and to conduct daily inspections of the excavation site to identify and correct hazards. OSHA issues repeat violations if an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The same violation was cited December 2012 at a job site in Mahomet.

One willful violation was cited for failing to provide cave-in protection to workers in a trench greater than 7 feet deep. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

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.

As a result of exposing workers to cave-in hazards, OSHA has placed Urbana-based Cross Construction in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. OSHA's SVEP focuses on recalcitrant employers that endanger workers by committing willful, repeat or failure-to-abate violations. Under the program, OSHA may inspect any of the employer's facilities if it has reasonable grounds to believe there are similar violations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and penalties 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 Peoria office at 309-589-7033.

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.

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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.


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