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Aurora OSHA Construction News

November 29, 1999 Vol. 3, Issue 3

  • A DuPage County roofer slid off a 13 foot high metal roof and died in November. The slope was about 5/12. No slideguards were used.

  • In October, a worker fell off a stepladder in LaSalle County and died from head injuries. The fall distance was less than 10 foot .

  • A worker in Winnebago County died in October when caught between the excavator structure and crawler tracks.

  • A worker died in August in Whiteside County when he got caught in rotating equipment in an air compressor.

  • An ironworker lost his arm in DuPage County in November when a sling broke and dropped the steel beam onto the worker.

  • A McHenry County pipefitter working on a pressurized dry sprinkler system was hurt when it fragmented, sending him flying off a stepladder in November.

  • A worker was hit in the head and died in Whiteside County in September when a boring machine was unexpectedly turned on.

  • A mason was electrocuted erecting scaffolding when he hit the powerline to the house in September in DuPage County.

  • In November, an electrician was burned while working on a live panel box when it arced on him in DuPage County. No gloves or face shield were worn. Insulated tools was not used.

  • In October, an ironworker fell approximately 26 feet when decking steel on a building. He suffered broken bones from the fall. No fall protection was used.

  • How many of you have ever felt the urge to be an OSHA inspector? (Don't answer that!) In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a Lake Tomahawk man did, and he was sentenced to 30 days in jail. He donned a hard hat and orange vest and impersonated an OSHA inspector at a highway construction site by ordering traffic rerouting. The construction foreman contacted OSHA and found out the person did not work for the agency. So sheriff's deputies were called to the scene to arrest the impersonator. He was charged shortly after the May 1995 incident with falsely acting as a public official and obstructing an officer.

  • For a number of years during the 1990s unbraced green masonry block walls blew over, killing and injuring employees. We are happy to report that injuries and fatalities due to green masonry wall collapses have been nil in the Chicago area this year. Mason contractors have put a good effort into bracing newly constructed walls. Note that many contractors are now following the Mason Contractors Association of America wall bracing guidelines, which were completed earlier in 1999. For more information, contact MCAA at 1-800-536-2225 or e-mail at info@MasonContractors.com

  • OSHA will be conducting more outreach and inspections in the road building sector emphasizing traffic control, silica, powerline clearance, crane safety, excavator safety, and hearing conservation. John Maronic at the Chicago North office is working with the Illinois Roadbuilders and other groups to discuss interpretations and enforcement issues. Nationwide, billions of dollars has been budgeted for roadwork over the next few years. This local group's goal is to prevent Illinois fatalities and health issues during this work.

  • On December 1, 1999, the new forklift training standard takes effect in construction. Rough terrain forklift operators will be the ones most affected by the new regulation. The main problem that many are having is the lack of a practical demonstration to assure that the operator can perform the tasks safety. Showing a person a video and giving them a written test is not a substitute for the hands-on demonstration.

  • The head of a large mason contractor came to our office for an informal conference. After checking our records, we noted with surprise that with so many job sites, the company had never had an OSHA silica inspection. His answer was revealing: "We wet cut whenever we possibly can".

If you would like to receive this newsletter via E-mail, contact charlie.shields@aurora.osha.gov. Due to the costs, this cannot be mailed to individual companies.

Comments on the newsletter should addressed to John Newquist, OSHA 344 Smoke Tree, North Aurora, IL 60542 or call (630) 896-8700.

Most Frequently Cited Serious Construction Standards

Aurora Area Office - 10/1/98 - 9/30/99
1 5(a)(1) General Duty Clause See attached descriptions
2 1926.20(b)(1) Deficient accident prevention program
3 1926.501(b)(1) No fall pro above 6 feet
4 1926.451(g)(1) No fall pro on scaffolds
5 1926.501(b)(13) No fall pro in residential construction
6 1926.652(a)(1) Unsafe trench
7 1926.1053(b)(1) Ladders not extended 3 feet above landing
8 1926.20(b)(2) No competent person
9 1926.451(b)(1) Scaffolds not fully planked
10 1926.100(a) No hard hats

Aurora 5(a)(1) Citation Descriptions - 10/1/98 - 9/30/99

No fall pro/employee not tied off in extensible boom aerial lifts (most frequently cited).

Overloaded extensible boom aerial lift. Overloading is from three people in a basket.

Working from guardrail on extensible boom aerial lift.

Scissor lift missing chain guardrails or not put up.

Working from guardrail on scissor lift.

No fall protection in steel tower erection. Worker was climbing without fall protection.

No egress from multilevel building. Building had no stairs.

Improper lifting of loads by rough terrain forklift. Loads lifted on the tips of the forks.

Improper platform/no fall protection on homemade platform on rough terrain forklift.

No lockout of pickup truck start-up, employee on ladder supported by pickup bed.

No lockout of 80 psi water pipe.

Trusses not braced according to Truss Plate Institute.

Ineffective safety and health program for a hardware chain contracting his own subcontractors. OSHA and the company agreed that 1926.20 (b)(1) was not applicable since they were not directing the contractors.

Confined spaces not marked, no ventilation, no atmospheric testing. These were a sewage pump vault and a storm sewer manhole.

No backup alarm on excavator.

Comments about the most frequently cited.

1) General Duty Clause - See previous page.

2) Deficient accident prevention program - Many smaller contractors are working the Randall Road corridor and have no accident prevention program.

3) No fall pro above 6 feet - These have been multi-story story building and the balcony areas are unguarded.

4) No fall pro on scaffolds - Welded frame scaffolds, three sections high account for the majority of these citations.

5) No fall pro in residential construction - These are often carpenters and shinglers not using any slide protection on sloped roofs.

6) Unsafe trench - We are seeing many trenches over 20 feet deep with only one or two trench boxes as protection. Often the walls are 6-8 feet above the top of the box with no sloping. Trenches over 20 feet must have tabulated data for cave-in protection.

7) Ladders not extended 3 feet above landing - These are ladders to the roof. Often it has been contractors who send the wrong size ladder to the jobsite. The work crew makes do with a short ladder instead of waiting around for a longer one.

8) No competent person - This is found often where the company has unsafe conditions that have existed for several days. No one is inspecting the site for hazards.

9) Scaffolds not fully planked - Lately, these are scaffolds where employees work at different level on the same scaffold. The top level may be planked, but the other levels are not.

10) No hard hats - This is found on trenching jobs and smaller construction jobs as of late.

Most Penalized Serious Construction Standards

Aurora Area Office - 10/1/98 - 9/30/99

1 1926.501(b)(3) $27,006 No fall pro above 6 feet in hoist areas




No fall pro on low-slope roofs



$ 8,600

No means of egress from trench



$ 7,888

No competent person for excavations



$ 6,642

Deficient safety training



$ 5,406

Unsafe trench



$ 3,250

No fall pro in extensible boom aerial lifts



$ 3,000

No fall pro above 6 feet during precast concrete erection



$ 2,235

Ladders not extended 3 feet above landing.



$ 2,125

No fall pro above 25 feet

Minimum of three citations were issued. Penalties reflect size, good faith and history discounts.

Comments about the most penalized

  • No fall pro above 6 feet in hoist areas - We have been finding several flat roofing companies not installing any fall protection at the hoist area where materials are lifted from the ground.

  • No fall pro on low-slope roofs - The lack of warning lines on a flat roof accounts for most of these citations. Several companies have been cited before for this standard.

  • No means of egress from trench - We are seeing 100 foot long trenches with only a ladder at the end for access. Gas lines running across the trench present a hazard to a worker if there is a leak.

  • No competent person for excavations - There is no Class D soil. 1/4:1 sloping is not allowed for any soil. Some of the management responsible do not conduct any soil testing and just guess at the soil classification.

  • Deficient safety training - The labor shortage in our area has resulted in companies putting untrained workers to work without any safety training. Giving an employee a safety booklet to read later is not safety training.

  • Unsafe trench - See most cited item.

  • No fall pro in extensible boom aerial lifts - These have been the truck mounted aerial lifts. Fall arrest was never required by the employer nor was it available for the employee to wear. A particular problem with employees working in the roadway.

  • No fall pro above 6 feet during precast concrete erection - A few inspections in this area have revealed serious shortcomings in this construction sector. The work is done quickly and compliance with the fall protection section nonexistent.

  • Ladders not extended 3 feet above landing - See most cited.

  • No fall pro above 25 feet - These are cited for ironworkers decking sheet metal roofs above 25 feet without any fall protection.

Most Frequently Cited Serious Construction Standards

Nationwide -10/1/98 - 9/30/99
1 1926.501(b)(1) No fall pro above 6 feet
2 1926.100(a) No hard hats
3 1926.451(g)(1) No fall pro on scaffolds
4 1926.652(a)(1) Unsafe trench
5 1926.451(e)(1) No ladder access on scaffolds
6 1926.21(b)(2) Deficient safety training
7 1926.451(b)(1) Scaffolds not fully planked
8 1926.503(a)(1) Deficient fall pro training program
9 1926.501(b)(13) No fall pro in residential construction
10 1926.454(a) Inadequate scaffold safety training

Most Frequently Cited Construction Standards

Region V

 No. Standard Violation



No written Haz/Com Program in place



No MSDS available



No Haz/Com training



No list of chemical in the hazard communication program


1926.20 (b)(1)

No Accident Prevention Program in place


1926.20 (b)(2)

No Competent Person



No/deficient training



Housekeeping poor



No head protection being used



Eye Protection not being used



No fire extinguishers supplied for each floor or building area



Power tools not being grounded or doubled insulated



Electrical cords being used for hoisting



Electrical equipment was not free of hazards



No ground fault protection

Companies in Illinois with the most In Compliance inspections (IC) by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) for FY 99 (10/1/98 - 9/30/99)

General Contractors/Construction Managers # of IC Inspections

Bovis Construction 2
Mota/Kenny, Joint Venture 2
Paul H. Schwendener 2
Pepper Construction 2
Power Construction 2

Heavy Construction Companies # of IC Inspections
Ganna Construction 3
Kenny/Kiewit/Shea, Joint Venture 2
Lorig Construction 2

Specialty Subcontractors # of IC Inspections
Midwest Masonry 8
Telecommunication Network Design, Inc. 4
Albin Masonry 2
Aldridge Electric 2
Area Erectors 2
Jimmy Z Masonry 2
Mal Tuckpointing 2
McCahill Painting 2

Subpart L Scaffolds

Most Frequently Cited

1926.451(g)(1) No guardrails on a scaffolds
1926.451(g)(4) Inadequate guardrails for scaffolds
1926.454(a) Inadequate training for scaffold users
1926.451(e)(1) Unsafe access to scaffolds
1926.451(b)(1) Scaffolds were not fully planked
1926.451(g)(1)(ii) No fall protection for single-point or two-point adjustable suspension scaffold
1926.451(f)(7) No competent person for erecting scaffold
1926.451(g)(1)(i) No fall protection for ladder jack scaffold
1926.454(a)(1) Deficient employee training for electrical hazards, fall hazards, and falling object hazards in the workplace
1926.451(c)(2) Unsafe supports, legs, posts, frames and uprights of scaffolds. No base plates.

Top 10 Construction Standards Cited as Willful FY99

1926.652(a)(1) No cave -in protection for trenches
1926.501(b)(1) No fall protection when working over 6' high, guard rails, nets, fall arrest
1926.451(g)(1) No fall protection when working on scaffolds 1926.451(b)(1) Not a fully planked scaffold
1926.451(g)(1)(viii) No 200 lbs. guardrail strength
1926.501(b)(2)(i) Not guarding leading edges when working over 6' high
1926.100(a) No hard hats
1926.105(a) No fall protection in steel erection
1926.451(e)(1) Unsafe access to scaffolds via cross braces
1926.651(k)(1) No inspection of trenches by a competent person


Original articles © WorkCare™; Orange, California.