Had his employer properly created a work zone, a passing car on Philadelphia's 63rd Street might not have struck and killed a 27-year-old plumber working to repair an underground leak on a mid-November night in 2015.
Employed by Best Choice Plumbing, Inc., Robert Harvey died after a vehicle whose driver could not see him hit him as he worked in the middle of the street. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the incident identified 10 serious violations. OSHA found the company failed to:
- Develop and implement a traffic control program to address, recognize, evaluate and control traffic hazards.
- Ensure that a competent person implemented and inspected the traffic control plan.
- Instruct employees in recognizing, eliminating or controlling hazards in an active roadway.
- Provide advanced warning to drivers, and other road users that work was underway.
- Designate flagmen to control traffic on the adjacent shoulder or in a barricaded lane.
"Best Choice Plumbing could have prevented this tragic incident by developing a proper traffic control plan that included signs, cones, barrels and barriers. Drivers, workers on foot and pedestrians must be able to see and understand the proper routes," said Nicholas DeJesse, director of OSHA's Philadelphia area office.
OSHA has fined the company $42,960 for the hazards.