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Release Number: 10-500-CHI
April 27, 2010
Contact: Scott Allen
Phone: 312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA proposes $60,000 in penalties against Chicago-based National Wrecking Co. for safety violations

CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited National Wrecking Co. in Chicago with $60,000 in proposed penalties for alleged willful and serious violations of federal workplace safety standards.

As a result of a November 2009 inspection, OSHA has issued a willful citation to the company for failing to provide fall protection to employees working 16 feet above ground level. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

OSHA also has issued the company one serious citation for failing to protect workers exposed to struck by and caught in between hazards while working in a hydraulic excavator. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.

"These types of violations show the company's disregard for the safety and welfare of its workers," said OSHA Area Director Gary Anderson, in Calumet City, Ill. "Those who ignore safe practices and OSHA regulations are inviting tragedy into the lives of their workers."

National Wrecking Co. has been inspected 46 times by OSHA since 1975 and has been issued numerous serious, repeat and willful violations.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its latest 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.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure these