OSHA Proposes $154,440 in Fines for PA Contractor

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Refton, Penn.,-based Quality Stone Veneer Inc. with eight safety violations, including one willful, for scaffolding hazards found during stone installation activities at a residential construction site in Hegins. OSHA has proposed $154,440 in penalties following an inspection that was initiated after a compliance officer driving by the site observed workers on a scaffold that lacked fall protection measures.

The willful violation is failing to implement a fall arrest system or provide guardrails for employees working on a scaffold more than 10 feet above the next lower level. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health. The citation carries a $69,300 penalty.

Three repeat violations involve a failure to fully plank or deck platforms on all working levels of the scaffold; provide a safe means of access to and from scaffold platforms that are more than two feet above or below an access point; and provide competent supervision and direction whenever a scaffold is erected, moved, dismantled or altered. The citations carry penalties of $69,300. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in 2011 at a site in Falling Waters, W. Va.

Four serious violations involve failing to ensure that scaffold platforms extend at least six inches over the centerline support; brace scaffold frames and panels to secure vertical members together laterally; and have a qualified person train workers who use scaffolds as well as workers who erect, disassemble, move, operate, repair, maintain or inspect scaffolds. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known. The citations carry penalties of $15,840.

The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/QualityStoneVeneer_315798587_05-03-12.pdf.

Detailed information on scaffold hazards and safe work practices, including an interactive e-tool, is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.

Quality Stone Veneer Inc., which installs stone at commercial and residential sites, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at (800) 321-OSHA (6742).

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