PITTSBURGH – A Butler County-based company pleaded guilty in federal court to willfully violating an OSHA regulation that resulted in the death of a worker, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.
Insight Pipe Contracting LLC, located in Harmony, Pa., pleaded guilty to one count before U.S. District Judge Stephanie L. Haines.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that federal regulations require that any vehicle or mechanical equipment capable of having any part of its structure elevated near energized power line must maintain a clearance of 10 feet.
On April 12, 2018, an Insight Pipe crew was installing pipe-liner at a work site in Johnstown, Pa. The crew was using a telehandler, a piece of equipment that has the features of a forklift and crane, to remove liner from a box truck. Energized power lines were located above the site.
At one point, the telehandler removed a large roll of liner from the truck and attempted to place it into an open manhole. The liner got stuck.
As the telehandler’s operator attempt to reposition the machine’s forks, the forks made contact with the overhead lines, causing the machine to become energized.
While this was taking place, one Insight Pipe’s employees had his hand on the telehandler’s door and was apparently trying to tell something to the operator. The worker was electrocuted and died at the scene.
Under the terms of its plea agreement, Insight Pipe has agreed to pay a fine of $20,000 and serve a probationary term of three years.
Earlier this year, Insight Pipe paid a fine of $180,000 in civil penalties in an OSHA administrative case stemming from the worker’s death.
Haines scheduled sentencing for Oct. 28. The law provides for a total sentence of five years’ probation, a fine of $500,000, or both.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Leo Ivory is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor conducted the investigation of Insight Pipe.