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OSHA Regional News Brief
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Region 3


Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies.

 

Dec. 3, 2015

 

Main Line utility construction company exposed employees to cave-in hazards
in a nearly 8-foot deep trench

Employer name: Anrich Inc., 1271 South Gulph Road in Wayne, Pennsylvania. The company primarily does utility construction and water and sewer pipeline construction.

Anrich Inc. was contracted by the West Branch Regional Authority in Muncy, Pennsylvania, for its 2013 sewer replacement project. The project consists of the installation of sanitary sewers, lateral lines, and manholes within Muncy and Montgomery Boroughs, Clinton Township and Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. The project also involves abandoning the existing sanitary sewer system, manhole-to-manhole lining, and associated restoration.

Citations issued: On November 30, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued citations for one willful, one repeat, and one serious violation.

Investigation findings: OSHA's June 2, 2015, investigation was initiated in response to a complaint alleging employees were working in a trench without cave-in protection. On the day of the inspection, OSHA found Anrich employees working in an unprotected excavation approximately 14 feet long, 10 feet wide and over 7 feet deep, without cave-in protection and with no safe means of exit. Additionally, due to rain that day, water was observed accumulating in the excavation, as well as flowing from an existing pipeline.

The willful violation involved Anrich's failure to provide a protective system in a trench where employees worked. The company did not provide employees with a safe means of exit from the trench, resulting in the repeat violation. Additionally, the serious violation was for not protecting employees from hazards associated with water accumulation in the trench.

Proposed penalties: $57,750

Quote: "Without the proper precautions to prevent cave-ins or safe means of exit, a trench can easily become a grave," said Mark Stelmack, director of OSHA's Wilkes-Barre Area Office. "Employers are responsible for ensuring that effective safety measures are in place and in use before their workers enter a trench."

View the citations: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/osha/OSHA1067696fs.pdf

Anrich Inc.'s workers' compensation insurer is Amerisafe Insurance in DeRidder, Louisiana.

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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Media Contacts:

Leni Fortson, 215-861-5102, uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov
Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101, hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

Release Number: 15-2309-PHI (osha 15-114)


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