Company cited for trench collapse in Susquehanna Township

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Federal safety regulators have cited a Dauphin County company for a trench collapse that injured a worker at a Susquehanna Township home last year.

Williamson Plumbing and Heating Inc. of Middletown, doing business as Roto-Rooter, was cited for eight violations, including one willful and six serious violations, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The unidentified employee was trapped for about three hours Sept. 30 after wet ground around him collapsed in the 1800 block of Pebble Court. He was buried up to his waist in a trench about 10-feet deep and was hospitalized after he was rescued.

OSHA cited the company for failing to keep excavated materials at least two feet from the edge of the trench, not constructing trenches in accordance with allowable slopes and configurations, failing to ensure a competent person inspected the trench, not instructing employees in recognizing and avoiding unsafe conditions, and failing to maintain injury and illness records.

Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA’s Harrisburg area office, said Williamson was lucky to avoid tragedy in the incident.

His agency proposed a penalty of $41,200.

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