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Pennsylvania Company Fined for Scaffolding Hazards

Quality Stone Veneer Inc., which installs stonework at residential and commercial properties, was recently found in violation of scaffolding safety regulations by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The company, based in Refton, was cited for eight violations, one found to be willful. OSHA proposed $154,440 in fines following a recent inspection.

Workers at the site were at risk for construction accidents, like falls, which could be fatal. Specifically, the company was cited for failing to extend platforms the necessary six inches, failing to properly brace frames and panels and failure to properly train workers. The repeat violations involved the failure to provide safe access into and out of the scaffolding, not having deck platforms on all levels of the scaffolding where work was being conducted, and failure to have appropriate supervision and direction when scaffolding was erected, dismantled or moved.

The willful violation was for failing to provide guardrails or a fall arrest system for workers on scaffolding 10 feet or more above the next level. A violation is found to be willful if it is committed intentionally or with voluntary disregard for the requirements of the law. This willful violation carried an almost $70,000 fine.

The director of the Wilkes Barre Area Office explained, "Effective scaffold maintenance, work practices and fall protection are essential to preventing life-threatening falls." He added that, "It is vital that all identified hazards are corrected to ensure the safety of Quality Stone Veneer workers."

The company has 15 days after being cited to contest the citations, comply or request a conference with OSHA.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA Regional News Release, May 9, 2012.

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