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OSHA drains sewer contractor’s pockets

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in Employment Law,Human Resources

Norridge-based Gerardi Sewer & Water Co. will have $360,000 less in liquid assets after OSHA cited the firm for eight willful violations. According to an OSHA statement, the company president and a foreman were present at work sites where dangerous conditions existed and still failed to safeguard workers.

Many of the violations imperiled employees working in trenches, where cave-ins can quickly kill. OSHA visited four Gerardi work sites and found no trench cave-in protection for workers. Another repeat citation resulted from the company’s failure to provide safe ingress and egress from a trench at a Des Plaines work site. The company was cited for the same violation within the past five years.

Gerardi received two serious violations because it failed to provide adequate drainage for trenches in Des Plaines and another site in Elmhurst.

The company received repeat citations because employees failed to wear hard hats and high-visibility vests at an Elmhurst work site.

Because Gerardi had been cited 15 times since 1987, the company has been fined under OSHA’s Severe Violators Enforcement Program.

Note: Failure to address issues found in an OSHA inspection only compounds problems. The inspections are a matter of record and the next inspector will check areas where the company failed earlier. Correct the issues. Train the appropriate personnel to perform the job right.

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