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Bricklayer Gets 3rd OSHA Strike

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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A Pennsylvania contractor with a history of safety infractions and unpaid fines is facing new penalties topping $100,000 for serious hazards at two different worksites.

Vyacheslav Leshko, doing business as T and S Masonry LLC, had his employees working on scaffolding more than 20 feet high without fall protection, federal authorities said.

The case is Leshko's third with OSHA in two years and his second this year.

© iStock.com / kadmy

T and S Masonry, of Huntingdon Valley, PA,  has a history of safety violations and unpaid penalties, according to OSHA. This image does not represent the company or its owner.

The Occupational Safety and Health said it had discovered the latest violations—eight repeat and five serious—in May at two residential jobsites in Philadelphia, according to a Nov. 3 release.

The Huntingdon Valley-based contractor has scheduled an informal conference to review the citations, according to an OSHA spokeswoman.  

Contact information for the contractor was unavailable Tuesday (Nov. 25). T and S Masonry does not have a website.

Previous Violations

The company was previously cited for six serious violations, including fall hazards, in 2012 and in March 2014.

Penalty fines totaling $10,000 were issued but remained unpaid as of Tuesday, according to OSHA’s records.

The contractor has been referred to debt collection, the records note.

The recent violations stem from a referral from the City of Philadelphia.

The city’s Department of License and Inspections alerted OSHA of possible safety infractions after conducting inspections at two single-family homes under construction in May.

Repeat Hazards

Upon arriving at the work sites, OSHA inspectors said they saw workers on scaffolds laying brick without fall protection.

Workers also were exposed to other scaffolding safety hazards and were not trained properly, OSHA said.

Consequently, T and S Masonry faces $83,160 in penalties for eight repeat violations, which include fall hazards related to scaffolding use.  

fall protection

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.

"T and S Masonry is taking unnecessary chances with worker safety by not providing fall protection for bricklayers working at heights ranging from 25 to 30 feet," said Nicholas DeJesse, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office.

"A fall at these heights would result in permanent disability or death."

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation in federal enforcement states within the last five years.

Serious Violations

Inspectors also cited the contractor for five serious violations, carrying $17,400 in penalties. Those citations allege lack of a safety and health program and a variety of hazards, including having workers use corrosive cement without personal protective equipment, OSHA said.

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.


Tagged categories: Brick; Citations; Contractors; Enforcement; Fall protection; Health and safety; Masonry; OSHA; Regulations

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