Pointing to an alleged pattern of violations, OSHA is seeking a court order to require a Norridge, IL, company to provide a monthly report of its work locations so they can be monitored.
OSHA also wants Gerardi Sewer & Water Co. to allow unannounced jobsite audits by qualified independent consultants and annually train workers on cave-in protection for the next two years.
OSHA seeks the court order from the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission after the company contested 13 citations and $360,000 in penalties issued Dec. 17, 2010.
In four separate inspections conducted in 2010, OSHA issued a total of eight willful, two serious and three repeat citations to Gerardi for failing to protect workers from cave-ins during trenching.
OSHA standards mandate excavations five feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Inspectors found Gerardi employees working in unprotected trenches of depths between 5.9 and 8 feet.
This is only the second time that OSHA has invoked the statutory authority to order “other appropriate relief” when violations are found against a company.
“The company’s severe violator history has led us to seek this order to ensure that these worksites are safe for employees,” said OSHA administrator David Michaels.
The company’s lawyer said Gerardi has been cooperating with OSHA to reach an amicable resolution that is in the best interest of employee safety.