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2015 Confined Space Death Results in OSHA Fines Against 4 Separate Companies

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Springfield, IL – OSHAs new construction confined space standard is being brought to bear against 4 Illinois companies following the death in October 2015 of a worker renovating the Springfield Metro Sanitary District’s Sugar Creek Plant. The new OSHA standard went into effect Aug 15, 2015 and the recent citations against Henderson; Williams Brothers Inc; Tobin Bros.; and Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc. are among the first to have been issued to violators of the new construction confined space rules.

In October 2015, a 42-year-old worker suffered fatal blconfined spaceunt force injuries when an inflatable bladder ruptured at Springfield Metro Sanitary District’s Sugar Creek Plant wastewater treatment facility. OSHA inspectors have found the employer, Henderson Construction of Central Illinois Inc., failed to train the employee properly.

While the majority of the violations cited centered on a failure to train workers on how to safely operate equipment, Henderson Construction was also cited for failing to manage how and when workers entered the large round pipe as well as confined space-related violations. 3 other companies involved were also cited for multiple safety violations by OSHA: Williams Brothers Inc who were the controlling contractor on the site; subcontractor Tobin Bros; and another subcontractor, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc. These 4 companies were working on a $54.4 million renovation of the Springfield Metro Sanitary District’s Sugar Creek Plant.

Many workplaces contain areas that are considered confined spaces because while they are not necessarily designed for people, they are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs. A confined space also has limited or restricted means for entry or exit and is not designed for continuous occupancy. They include, but are not limited to, tanks, vessels, silos, storage bins, hoppers, vaults, pits, manholes, tunnels, equipment housings, ductwork, boilers, and pipelines.

Martin Technical confined space services are designed to keep workers safe, and help companies meet OSHA regulations. Contact an expert on our Safety & Compliance Team to evaluate your work site to determine which spaces require permits, develop a written program and specific procedures for entering each confined space.

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