Illinois Briefs: 6/28/2011

*OSHA cites Caterpillar for safety violations*

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Caterpillar Inc. for three safety violations and has proposed a $66,000 fine following a December 2010 accident that injured an employee.

OSHA said in a news release Monday that the employee was injured while trying to clear a jammed piece of equipment in a Caterpillar plant in East Peoria. The agency says Caterpillar failed to cut power to the equipment and failed to provide related training. One of the violations is considered serious, meaning it could result in serious injury or death.

OSHA did not have details about the employee’s injury.

Peoria-based Caterpillar has 15 days to comply with OSHA’s findings or contest them.

The company did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment.

*Gov. Quinn signs seat belt measure into law*

Illinois drivers and passengers need to buckle up because Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday signed a new Illinois law requiring everyone riding in a vehicle to wear their seat belts.

“We want to save lives and this legislation is important to doing that,” Quinn said at a bill-signing ceremony in Chicago.

The new law requiring everyone to wear their seat belts goes into effect Jan. 1. Currently, people riding in the front seat of a vehicle have to wear their seat belts, but people in the back seat are only required to be belted in if they are under 18.

Officials said it was the latest measure to improve safety on Illinois roads.

Secretary of State Jesse White said making rear passengers wear seat belts will protect not only them but those people in the front seat as well.

“If by chance they are not buckled up, they could become a human missile for those in the front of the vehicle,” White said.

Buses, taxicabs and emergency vehicles are exempt from the new law.

Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat from Chicago, was one of the sponsors of the measure along with the late GOP Rep. Mark Beaubien, the seven-term state lawmaker who died earlier this month.

Beaubien, of Barrington Hills, collapsed while at a House GOP event with family, friends and colleagues. Beaubien’s family attended the bill signing.