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Plumber sentenced to probation for role in collapse

A Beaver County plumber has been sentenced to probation for his role in a trench collapse that led to the death of a young man.

According to recent reports, a U.S. Magistrate judge sentenced the 67-year-old man to two years of probation, despite the fact that he could have received a sentence of up to six months in federal prison.

The judge noted that his poor health, remorse and $87,000 fine for violating federal worksite regulations was punishment enough.

Last year, he pleaded guilty to violating OSHA regulations in regards to trench protection, which eventually caused the death of a 21-year-old man.

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, the case was turned over to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The plumber was replacing a sewer line 11 feet below ground, with unstable soil in place. However, he did not take the necessary steps in preventing a cave-in.

While he noted that he had plans to bring in cave-in protection equipment the next day, a collapse resulted in the man’s death before this happened.

Employers have an obligation under the law to protect all of their employees, even if it means paying money to do so. Unfortunately, there are times when employers skimp with the idea of saving a dollar.

In the event of a workplace injury or death, the injured party or their family should learn more about workers’ compensation benefits and other types of legal action. This is the best way to better understand what went wrong and how to proceed in the most efficient way possible.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Beaver County plumber sentenced in trench collapse death,” Torsten Ove, Feb. 21, 2018

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