Canonsburg painting company fined nearly $460,000 for OSHA violations

  • January 30, 2013

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Canonsburg-based Panthera Painting Inc. with 38 alleged violations – including 14 willful and 11 repeat – found at bridge work sites in Slatington, Harrisburg and Slatedale, where workers were exposed to lead and other safety and health hazards while performing abrasive blasting and repainting projects. Proposed penalties total $459,844.

“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,” said MaryAnn Garrahan, OSHA regional administrator in Philadelphia. “Employers have a legal responsibility to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces. Anything less is unacceptable.”

The willful violations, with $365,750 in fines, include failing to properly protect workers from exposure to lead and provide fall protection. 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.

The repeat violations, with $63,294 in proposed penalties, relate to employee exposure to lead above the permissible exposure level; a lack of warning signs posted in lead work areas; failing to ensure workers showered at the end of each work shift; provide medical evaluations and fit tests for respirator users; notify employees of the results of lead monitoring; provide workers with initial medical surveillance for lead; provide blood tests every two months for employees exposed to lead; and certify the OSHA 300 injury and illness logs and monitor data in the lead compliance programs.

Due to the willful and repeat violations, Panthera has been placed in OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program, which mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law.

Read more in tomorrow’s Observer-Reporter


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