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Ill. Contractor Cited by OSHA in Heat-Related Death

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Libertyville, Ill.-based Aldridge Electric Inc. for one serious safety violation following the June death of a worker who developed heat stroke at a job site in Chicago.

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Aldridge was installing electrical conduit in a trench on a mass-transit line when the worker became ill on his first day on the job. The worker was carrying heavy piping in unshaded conditions when he collapsed. He died the following day.

“This tragedy underscores the need for employers to ensure new workers become acclimated and build a tolerance to working in excessive heat with a program of water, rest and shade,” says Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.

OSHA determined that Aldridge failed to implement an adequate heat-stress program and ensure a newly employed worker could withstand the effects of heat and physical exertion.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard the employer knew or should have known about.

Proposed penalties total $7,000. Aldridge has 15 business days from receipt of citations and penalties to comply, request a conference with an OSHA area director or contest the findings.

 

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