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Region 5 News Release: 12-684-CHI
May 2, 2012
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone:        312-353-6976
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Gordy's Pump Service
after worker killed in Spring Valley, Wis., trench collapse

RIVER FALLS, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited River Falls-based Gordy's Pump Service with five safety – including two willful – violations as the result of an inspection conducted after a 19-year-old worker died when an unprotected trench collapsed at a Spring Valley job site on Nov. 3, 2011.

The 19-year-old and one other worker had just finished locating an existing waterline in the trench using a hand-held shovel when a sidewall caved in. The trench was approximately 220 feet long, 6 feet deep and 2 feet wide. The other worker was not injured.

"Gordy's Pump Service has a responsibility to ensure that workers are properly trained and protected from known workplace hazards such as trench cave-ins, a leading cause of death and injury in excavation work," said Mark Hysell, OSHA's area director in Eau Claire. "SHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to so."

The willful violations include failing to provide required cave-in protection and a means of egress from the trench. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

Three serious violations include failing to ensure the use of head protection, keep spoil piles at least 2 feet back from the excavation's edge and train employees working in trenches to recognize excavation hazards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability