A Pennsylvania painting company will receive $459,844 in fines resulting from violations that the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) says exposed workers to lead and other safety hazards.
Panthera Painting Inc., in Canonsburg, was cited for 38 alleged violations at work sites in Slatington, Harrisburg, and Slatedale. Fourteen of the citations are categorized as willful and 11 are repeat violations. The exposure is said to have happened during abrasive blasting and repainting projects.
Referring to the violations, MaryAnn Garrahan, OSHA regional administrator in Philadelphia, said, “The employer’s refusal to correct the hazards, along with its history of failing to correct hazards, demonstrates a clear resistance to worker safety and health and leaves workers vulnerable to potential illnesses and injuries from overexposure to lead and other hazards.”
Some of the willful violations include failing to properly protect workers from exposure to lead and providing fall protection. Some of the repeat violations include exposing employees to lead above the permissible exposure level, lack of warning signs posted in lead work areas, providing medical evaluations and fit tests for respirator users, providing blood tests every two months for employees exposed to lead, and failing to certify injury and illness logs and monitor data in the lead compliance programs.
As a result of the willful and repeat violations, Panthera has been placed on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The company has been inspected by OSHA five times in the last five years with four of the inspections resulting in serious citations.
In today’s economy, if we have a job, we consider ourselves very fortunate. Some workers may tolerate knowingly hazardous working conditions just to ensure a steady paycheck. But to sacrifice your personal safety to support yourself and your family is no way to work. If you’ve been injured on the job, you could qualify for compensation. Contact the workers’ comp attorneys at Michael J. O’Connor & Associates for a free review of your case.