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OSHA Alleges West Lafayette Ind Excavator For Dangerous Safety Violations

Danville, Ill - The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cites the Atlas Excavating Inc. in West Lafayette, Ind., with two alleged willful violations for not following the federal safety standards at trenching operation in Danville and was proposed penalties of total $130,200.

OSHA started an inspection in May 2009 in Danville at excavation jobsites after receiving the information that the employees were working in about 8 feet deep excavations without cave-in protection. And as a result to the inspection, OSHA issued two willful violations in failing to provide the workers in a trench a means of exit.

OSHA’s definition of willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard or plain indifference to the safety and health of the employee. A serious citation is issued if there is a substantial probability that physical harm or death could result from a hazard about which the employer should have known. "It has long been known that cave-in fatalities are entirely preventable," said Area Director Nick Walters in Peoria, Ill. "Any employer involved in trenching and excavation can protect its workers by following OSHA's clear regulations. Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of workers and their families."

OSHA inspected Atlas Excavating in Indiana seven times since 2000 with the numerous serious violations issued.

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