March 3, 2015
JC Stucco and Stone Inc. again puts workers' lives at risk,
exposing them to dangerous falls, unsafe scaffolding
Company ignores fall safety with 41 citations since 2011
LANSDOWNE, Pa. – Imagine working three-and-a-half stories off the ground with no fall protection and on unsafe scaffolding that could easily topple with one strong wind gust. This reality was frighteningly familiar for employees of JC Stucco and Stone Inc., a Lansdowne masonry contractor, until U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors responded to a tip in October 2014 from a passer-by. OSHA officials then saw for themselves how workers were again being exposed to fall, scaffolding and other safety hazards by their employer.
JC Stucco and Stone had been cited in September 2014 for the same violations. In 2011, the company was placed in OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program for multiple instances of repeated, high-gravity violations. Since then, the employer has received 41 citations related to scaffolding. For its latest set of violations, the company received three willful violations with proposed fines of $181,500.
"A fall from 35 feet would result in death or permanent disability. Employers can protect their workers by providing basic safeguards, but JC Stucco and Stone's repeated failure to do so demonstrates a total disregard for federal law and worker safety," said Nicholas DeJesse, director of OSHA's Philadelphia Area Office. "Workers shouldn't have to risk their lives for the sake of a paycheck."
In the October inspection, the contractor had lack of fall protection for employees working at a height of up to 35 feet; provided inadequate access to working levels on scaffolding; and had no braces to prevent scaffolding from tipping or collapsing. The incident occurred at 15th and Master Streets in Philadelphia, where employees were applying a stucco exterior to new residential housing.
A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or with plain indifference to employee safety and health.
View the citation at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JCStucco1001705.pdf*
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that falls, slips or trips were the third most frequent fatal event in Philadelphia in 2013, the most recent year with available data, resulting in 21 percent of all workplace fatalities. Eleven of these 13 fatalities were a result of falls to a lower level. Philadelphia's share of total fatalities due to falls, slips or trips ranked fifth highest of the 10 largest metropolitan areas.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Philadelphia Area Office at 215-597-4955.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
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Joanna Hawkins, 215-861-5101, firstname.lastname@example.org
Release Number: 15-268-PHI (OSHA 15-017)
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).
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