Pennsylvania state Sen. Scott Wagner’s company was fined for workplace safety violations last year after an employee died on the job, according to previously undisclosed records obtained by American Ledger.
In November 2016, a 24-year-old employee named Vince Nalencz was killed while collecting trash in West Lampeter Township, Pa., for Eagle Disposal. After an investigation, the U.S. Department of Labor fined the company for failing to report the death in a timely manner. Wagner, currently the Republican nominee for governor, owns 50 percent of Eagle Disposal.
Nalencz’s death resulted in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which found that Eagle Disposal violated federal labor regulations by failing to record the death within seven days of learning of the incident, according to public records obtained through a freedom of information request.
Investigative records indicated that of eight Eagle employees who sustained injuries over a two-month period in the fall of 2016, the company failed to properly maintain records of the incident as mandated by federal labor law in all but one.
Workplace-safety advocates say mistakes like the one at Eagle Disposal put workers in danger.
“Without these records it’s not possible to track injuries, identify hazards and take action to correct them,” said Peg Seminario, director of occupational safety and health for the AFL-CIO. “Waste disposal is a very hazardous industry, with a fatality rate three and one half times the national average. Failure to track injuries puts these workers at greater risk of injury and death.”
During the investigation, an Eagle Disposal manager was unable to provide federal inspectors with legally mandated injury logs for 2015 and 2016. The manager told investigators that injury logs from 2015 were only “approximately 10 percent complete,” and that in the year of Nalencz’s death, Eagle Disposal failed to maintain any records at all of workplace injuries.
In addition, logs supplied by Eagle failed to list “an adequate description of the employee injuries,” according to OSHA’s report. The injury logs also failed to include standard information such as how employees were injured or became ill.
After investigators’ uncovered Wagner’s company’s lax reporting practices, the federal government fined Eagle Disposal $1,630.