The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating Susquehanna Supply Company Inc. in Williamsport for endangering the life of a man who died while working on a bridge repair in July 2015.
First responders were called to the construction scene of the embankment collapse where a 37-year-old employee from Unityville was pinned inside a trench. The trench was between 12 and 15 feet deep when the trench wall came down and buried the worker.
The worker was in the trench removing dirt from the bottom of an abutment bridge wall, which was not accessible by an excavator. The crew above was drilling asphalt when the accident occurred.
PennDOT states that the crew was to reconstruct, paint and pave areas of the bridge.
When fire chief, Rob Bower, arrived on the scene, the man’s co-workers were attempting to dig him out of the trench. Extracting the victim took time since firefighters had to ensure everyone else’s safety.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the construction accident and will try to determine why the trench collapsed. A tragedy like this one may be preventable if safety measures are used, such as exits every 25 feet, safety boxes and support beams.
Susquehanna Supply Company Inc. notified OSHA who began investigating the fatality.
OSHA placed Susquehanna Supply on their Severe Violator Enforcement Program because of an absence of cave-in protection and willful violations. Susquehanna Supply has a history of violations since the 1970s.
The supply company endangered their employees’ lives by not complying with safety measures designed to prevent trench tragedies. OSHA stated that this type of behavior is not acceptable.
Employers have a responsibility to their employees to provide safe working conditions. If you have been injured due to an unsafe working environment, contact the law firm of Schmidt Kramer right away. Our workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get the compensation you need and deserve.