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updated: 9/11/2013 7:57 AM

Chicago contractor accused of safety lapses

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Associated Press

A federal workplace safety agency is accusing a Chicago contractor of failing to protect employees from possible cave-ins while working in trenches.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the company for what it says were three safety violations. OSHA says one of its inspectors saw workers in an unprotected trench, prompting an inspection of a Chicago job site in May. The proposed penalty is more than $48,000.

A representative for the Reliable Contracting and Equipment Co. did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

OSHA's area director in Calumet City is Gary Anderson. He says "cave-ins are the leading cause of injury and death in excavation."

One of the safety infractions was a repeat violation.

The company has 15 days to comply or contest the citations.

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