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OSHA Cites Pennsylvania Contractor After Employee's Electrocution

The contractor faces $331,101 in proposed penalties.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Harmony, Pa.-based Insight Pipe Contracting LLC for workplace safety and health violations following an employee electrocution at a worksite in Johnstown, Pa. The contractor faces $331,101 in proposed penalties.

OSHA initiated a safety investigation after an employee suffered a fatal electrocution. Two employees who attempted to assist him were hospitalized after receiving electrical shock. The employees were making a trenchless sewer repair when the incident occurred. OSHA conducted a subsequent health investigation upon referral from the OSHA safety compliance officer who investigated the fatality. OSHA cited the company for failing to develop and implement procedures for confined space entry; train employees on confined space hazards; conduct atmospheric testing before permitting entry into a sewer line; use a retrieval line; and complete proper permits. The agency placed the company in its Severe Violator Enforcement Program.

"Electrocution is one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry," says OSHA Pittsburgh Area Office Director Christopher Robinson. "Complying with OSHA safety and health standards is not optional. Employers are required to take necessary precautions to prevent tragedies such as this."

The company 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 independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. View the citations here and here.

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