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The U.S. Department Of Labor Cites Two Contractors After Electrician Preparing Job Bid ‘Suffers Fatal Fall’ At Caterpillar’s Mapleton Foundry In Illinois

Published Tuesday, June 28, 2022
by USDOL News
The U.S. Department Of Labor Cites Two Contractors After Electrician Preparing Job Bid ‘Suffers Fatal Fall’ At Caterpillar’s Mapleton Foundry In Illinois

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Federal Workplace Safety Inspectors investigating the fatal fall of a 50-year-old Journeyman Electrician at Caterpillar’s Mapleton foundry in Peoria, Illinois have determined that the lead contractor and a nested Caterpillar Electrical Contractor exposed Workers to fall hazards.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) learned Project Lead Contractor Illinois Crane Incorporated of Peoria asked Tegco Incorporated - doing business as Schaefer Electric of Peoria - to provide a bid to move an electrical junction box as part of a skip hoist construction project.

While the Electrician and the General Foreman for Illinois Crane evaluated the proposed work on December 23rd, 2021, the Electrician fell 24 feet through a floor hole and suffered a fatal injury.

OSHA determined Employees were not protected from falls as required by law.

OSHA cited Illinois Crane with one willful violation for failing to protect employees on walking/working surfaces more than six feet above the lower level from falling through holes.

Inspectors found the company did not ensure the use of personal Fall Arrest Systems, adequate floor hole covers or guardrail systems. 

OSHA proposed penalties of $87,016.

OSHA also cited Schaefer Electric for a serious violation because it failed to inspect job sites and evaluate for hazards, and train Workers to recognize fall hazards or take appropriate safety precautions to minimize danger. 

The agency proposed $10,151 in penalties.

“Our investigation found that the use of required fall protection could have prevented this tragedy,” explained OSHA Area Director Barry Salerno in Peoria. “Falls are one of the leading causes of serious injuries and deaths in the Construction Industry, and too often employees work at heights greater than six feet without fall safety equipment.  Employers are legally obligated to follow safety standards and protect workers.”

In its 2020 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2020, 24 Workers died in Illinois as a result of falls, slips and trips.

A total of 135 Worker deaths were reported in Illinois in 2020. 

Both companies have 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Area Director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Learn more about fall protection here.

To Directly Access This Labor News Story, Go To: www.osha.gov/news/newsreleases/region5/06272022-0

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