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OSHA: 2 Stucco Firms ‘Bypass’ Safety

Monday, May 23, 2016

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A pair of Pennsylvania stucco contractors with histories of workplace safety violations is now facing more than $235,000 in federal fines after exposing workers to nearly 40-foot falls at a Philadelphia jobsite, according to authorities.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Limerick-based Penn Stucco Systems Inc. and subcontractor BC Stucco and Stone, of Upper Darby, for repeat and serious violations.

OSHA Scaffolding

OSHA said the companies rushed to complete the project and ignored safety regulations relating to proper scaffolding.

BC Stucco and Stone also faces willful violations in the case, OSHA announced Thursday (May 19).

As of Friday (May 20), neither company had contested the violations, according to an OSHA spokesperson.

Complaint Spurs Case

The November 2015 inspection was prompted by a complaint alleging workers were approximately 20 feet high on a scaffold with “major safety deficiencies” including lack of bracing, safe access, planking and stability.

After arriving at the jobsite, an OSHA inspector allegedly confirmed the complaint and issued citations.

Work on the Philadelphia building was directed by general contractor Westrum Development Co., but the company was not cited in the case.

“OSHA determined the general contractor shortened the schedule in the middle of the project,” said Nicholas DeJesse, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. “Both employers pushed to rush completion and bypassed safety.

© iStock.com / Halduns

Alleged penalties against Penn Stucco and BC Stucco total $119,790 and $116,600, respectively.

“Penn Stucco Systems and BC Stucco and Stone jeopardized their workers' safety knowingly by failing to provide basic scaffolding safeguards intended to prevent serious injuries and save lives.”

Penn Stucco: 5 Violations

The agency cited Penn Stucco for four repeat violations, alleging that the employer:

  • Allowed workers on scaffolds approximately 39 feet high that were not fully planked or decked;
  • Had employees doing stucco work on a fabricated frame scaffold not restrained from tipping;
  • Used a scaffold without ladders, stair towers or other safe means of access; and
  • Failed to provide fall prevention or guardrails to address fall hazards.

OSHA had previously cited the company for similar violations in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Penn Stucco also faced one serious citation for the alleged failure to ensure that each walkway used by employees was protected by a guardrail.

Alleged penalties against Penn Stucco total $119,790.

BC Stucco: 7 Violations

BC Stucco faces $116,600 in proposed fines for three willful, two repeat and two serious violations, according to case documents.

The alleged willful violations were issued for:

  • Maintaining scaffolds approximately 39 feet high that were not fully planked or decked;
  • Exposing employees to falls of 15 to 39 feet from walkways without guardrails; and
  • Not providing fall arrest or guardrail systems to prevent falls.

OSHA also found repeat violations by BC Stucco for allegedly:

  • Allowing employees to work on a fabricated frame scaffold without restraints to avoid tipping; and
  • Failing to provide ladders, stair towers or other safe means of access to the scaffold.

The company was previously cited for similar hazards in 2013 and 2014.

The serious citation was issued for not installing protection on the fabricated frame scaffold to avoid falling materials, or for providing or requiring workers to wear hard hats, OSHA said.


Tagged categories: Citations; Enforcement; Ethics; OSHA; Stucco

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