Department of Labor Logo OSHA News Release - Region 3

Please note: As of January 20, 2021, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

January 27, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Cites Pennsylvania Excavation Contractor
For Exposing Employees to Trenching Hazards

HARMONY, PA – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Metarko Excavating LLC for exposing employees to trenching hazards at a Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, worksite. The company faces $59,311 in penalties.

OSHA initiated an inspection on December 13, 2019, after being notified of an employee working in an excavation up to 12 feet deep without proper protection. An inspector found the worker extending an existing sewage line in an improperly protected trench. OSHA cited the company with one willful violation for the trenching hazard, and serious citations for lack of safe entry or exit out of the excavation and failure to train employees on ladder safety.

“Working in trenches without all necessary safeguards can result in serious or fatal injuries. Employers must protect workers involved in dangerous excavation work, and train their workers properly to recognize and address hazards before entering a trench,” said OSHA Pittsburgh Area Director Christopher Robinson.

OSHA’s Trenching and Excavation webpage includes several compliance assistance resources on protecting workers from trench cave-ins, including a video, fact sheet, and booklet.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s Area Director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

# # #

Media Contacts:
Leni Fortson, 215-861-5101,
Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101,

Release Number:  20-83-PHI (OSHA 20-02 Metarko Excavating LLC)

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at The Department’s Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the Department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).