Excavating company faces criminal charges in trench collapse
The U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh charged Glen Wagner and Wagner Excavation Services, of North Fayette Township, with willful violation of OSHA regulations.
William Partin, 39, of North Fayette, was killed and another man was injured in June 2004 while they were working in a 10-foot-deep trench on a stormwater drainage project in North Franklin, about 25 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
OSHA fined Wagner Excavation and Wagner Development Co. $382,875 â€” the largest trench-related workplace fine ever in Pennsylvania â€” for "egregiously willful" safety violations at the work site.
OSHA found the companies weren't using a trench box, which reinforces trench walls, at the time of Partin's death. The companies had even rented a trench box, but it was lying unused nearby when Partin was killed.
The Wagner companies had workers in trenches without the proper reinforcement on at least seven separate days in June. Workers also disregarded several warnings by others before Partin's death in the trench, OSHA said.
Wagner and the company are scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 25.