Jan. 4, 2016
Williamsport, Pennsylvania, bridge repair company named a 'severe violator'
after fatal trench collapse at Eyers Grove work site
Susquehanna Supply Company Inc. cited for willful violations following July incident
Employer name: Susquehanna Supply Company Inc., is headquartered at 2 Rose Street in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The inspected location was a work site just outside Little Fishing Creek on State Route 4021 Eyers Grove Road in Millville, Pennsylvania. The bridge repair and construction company was contracted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to rehabilitate a small steel-frame bridge over the creek.
Citations issued: On Dec. 28, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for two willful violations.
Investigation findings: On July 7, 2015, Susquehanna Supply notified OSHA that an employee died in a trench collapse, prompting the investigation.
OSHA investigators determined the employee was working inside a trench, approximately 12-15 feet deep, on the outside of the bridge abutment when the adjacent trench wall collapsed and he became buried in soil. The worker was in the trench shoveling soil off the base of the abutment wall because it was not reachable by an excavator.
Susquehanna Supply was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program due to the willful violations cited for lack of cave-in protection. The company has an extensive OSHA history of violations dating back to the early 1970s.
The employer has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Proposed penalties: $140,000
Quote: "Susquehanna Supply Company took unacceptable risks with its workers' lives by failing to comply with common-sense safety practices intended to prevent trenching tragedies such as this from occurring," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes-Barre office. "Employers who expose workers to cave-in hazards from an unprotected trench place those employees' lives in immediate jeopardy. This will not be tolerated."
View the citations: http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/SusquehannaSupplyCo_1075879.pdf
To ask questions; obtain compliance assistance; file a complaint; or report amputations, eye loss, workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Wilkes-Barre Area Office at 570-826-6538.
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Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 15-2499-PHI (osha 16-001)
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