Region 3 News Release: 10-1382-PHI (osha 10-199)
Oct. 5, 2010
Contact: Leni Fortson
US Labor Department's OSHA cites Springdale, Pa., company
for workplace safety violations following worker electrocution
SPRINGDALE, Pa. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Modern Painting & Decorating of Springdale for workplace safety violations following a fatal worker electrocution at a New Kensington, Pa., worksite.
OSHA initiated an investigation on April 7, the same day the employee, who was working on the roof while painting the exterior of a building, came in contact with a high-voltage power line.
"The employer was aware of the existence and proximity of the overhead power lines, as well as the danger they posed to employees, yet took no action to ensure worker safety," said Robert Szymanski, area director of OSHA's Pittsburgh, Pa., office.
The company was cited with one willful violation for permitting employees to work in proximity to energized electric power circuits. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employees' safety and health.
OSHA inspectors also issued two serious violations because the company did not provide adequate fall protection or train employees in the recognition and avoidance of fall hazards. An OSHA violation is serious if death or serious physical harm can result from a hazard an employer knew or should have known exists.
The proposed OSHA penalties total $57,900. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, ask for an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The investigation was conducted by OSHA's Pittsburgh Area Office; telephone 412-395-4903.
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 assure 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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