Earlier this week, a plastering and stucco company based in Upper Darby, PA was cited again by the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The company was also slapped with a fine of $89,760. *Source: www.osha.gov
McGee Plastering & Stucco Inc. was cited for several safety violations, including two willful violations, which are violations committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law’s requirements to ensure workers’ safety.
The violations were found at a new residential construction site in Philadelphia, PA. The two willful violations involve the company’s failure to provide guardrails and install restraints/braces to prevent a scaffold from collapsing as the workers performed bricklaying work. OSHA began its investigation of the violations after it received an imminent danger complaint in May 2013.
Prior to this recent citation, the contractor was cited by OSHA on other occasions for similar violations and was already placed in OSHA’s Violators Enforcement Program, which targets "recalcitrant" employers that endanger workers by committing willful or repeat safety violations.
The director of OSHA’s Philadelphia area office said, “Six prior inspections for serious and repeat violations indicate a pattern of disregard for safety and workers’ well-being that will not be tolerated.”
Though injured workers generally cannot sue their employers for injuries sustained while working at a PA construction site, there is a very specific situation where injured workers may sue their employers. If a worker’s injuries are caused by an employer’s intentional wrong, the employer may be sued by the worker. See Can You Sue Your Employer In PA For A Workplace Injury?
If workers in this situation were injured as a result of the contractor’s willful act of not providing guardrails to prevent workers from falling or installing braces to prevent scaffold collapse, there may be an argument that the employer committed an intentional wrong. The company was cited not once, but several times prior to the most recent citation.
It also seems that placing companies in OSHA’s Violator Enforcement Program may not have the effect OSHA had hoped for the program. Despite numerous citations and hefty fines, some contractors and companies continue without rectifying the violations.
If you or a loved one was injured at a PA construction site and would like to explore your legal rights beyond a workers’ compensation claim, call the construction accident injury lawyers at White and Williams LLP for a free initial legal consultation. 877.944.8396