OSHA cited Kellenberger Plumbing & Underground of Elgin, Illinois, for one willful and one serious safety violation for not providing cave-in protection or having a competent person on site to remove employees from a hazardous area. This is the third time in 3 years that Kellenberger has been cited and faces penalties of $59,290.
The agency opened an investigation under OSHA's National Emphasis Program on trenching and excavation after receiving a complaint that two workers were removing a sewer line in a trench more than 8-feet deep at a workplace under construction in Naperville on March 4, 2016.
"An unprotected trench can bury a worker under thousands of pounds of soil in seconds and cause severe or fatal injuries," said Kathy Webb, OSHA's area director at its Calumet City Area Office. "Since 2012, OSHA has now cited Kellenberger Plumbing three times for violating federal trenching standards. The company knows that every trench deeper than 5 feet must have cave-in protection. They are putting their employees in serious danger by ignoring federal safety standards."