Another Company Added to Severe Violator Program

Panthera Painting Inc. faces $459,844 in proposed OSHA fines for allegedly exposing workers to lead and other hazards while performing abrasive blasting and repainting projects.

OSHA has cited Canonsburg-based Panthera Painting Inc. of Canonsburg, Pa., alleging 38 violations -— 14 classified as willful and 11 as repeat -— at bridge work sites in Slatington, Harrisburg, and Slatedale and has added the company to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The agency alleges the company's workers at those sites were exposed to lead and other safety and health hazards while performing abrasive blasting and repainting projects. Its 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's regional administrator in Philadelphia. "Employers have a legal responsibility to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces. Anything less is unacceptable."

The willful violations came with $365,750 in fines and include failing to properly protect workers from exposure to lead and provide fall protection. The repeat violations, with $63,294 in proposed penalties, involve lead exposures; a lack of warning signs posted in lead work areas; failing to ensure workers showered at the end of each work shift; not providing medical evaluations and fit tests for respirator users or notifying employees of the results of lead monitoring; and certifying the OSHA 300 logs and monitoring data in the lead compliance programs. OSHA's news release said it cited the company for similar violations in 2011, and that Panthera has been inspected by OSHA five times in the last five years, with four of those inspections resulting in serious citations.

The Severe Violator Enforcement Program mandates targeted follow-up inspections to ensure compliance with the law. To read the citations, visit this page.

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