The Pennsylvania bridge repair company, Susquehanna Supply Company Inc., has been fined $140,000 and placed in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) Severe Violator Enforcement Program list for a July 7, 2015 trench collapse on a work site that killed a contractor.
The contractor had been working in a deep trench on the site of a small bridge repair job contracted by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation when the trench collapsed, burying him. Susquehanna Supply Company Inc. has been fined for failing to provide adequate safety measures to protect workers from such trench collapses.
There are a number of recommended safety measures employers can take to ensure worker safety in trenches. Some of these include having ladders no farther than 25 feet away from each worker, notifying subcontractors in large vehicles of the location of any trenches on work sites, and removing workers from trenches that could be at risk of collapse because of accumulated water or other inadequate protective measures that could lead to a collapse. When construction companies fail to protect their workers in these ways, they face liability for the injuries that result.
Trench collapses can be shocking and tragic when they cause severe injury or loss of life. Sometimes the attempt to dig a worker out of a collapsed trench can actually cause greater injury or even death when the initial collapse did not. If you or a loved one has been injured, or if you have lost a loved one in a trench collapse or other construction accident, contact a lawyer who can evaluate your case and pursue appropriate compensation to help you pay for your medical bills and other costs related to the injury.