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OSHA proposes $154K in fines for veneer stone installer

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration; CP staff

OSHA has cited Refton, Pa.-based Quality Stone Veneer Inc. with eight safety violations, including one willful, for scaffolding hazards found during stone installation at a Hegins, Pa., residential site.

The agency proposes $154,440 in penalties following an inspection initiated after a compliance officer passing 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. Carrying a $69,300 penalty, 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, OSHA contends.

Three repeat violations for which Quality Stone is cited and OSHA proposes the same penalty, 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 2 feet above or below an access point; and, provide competent supervision and direction whenever a scaffold is erected, moved, dismantled or altered. A repeat violation indicates the employer was previously cited for the same or 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 Quality Stone site in Falling Waters, W.Va.

Four serious violations involve failing to: ensure that scaffold platforms extend at least 6 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. The citations carry penalties of $15,840. The proposed penalties are subject to review in conference with the OSHA area director or can be contested before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.