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Work injury: 2 contractors cited for unsafe scaffolding

Two contractors in Pennsylvania recently faced the wrath of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA found that the willful disregard of workers' safety by these companies were unacceptable. This followed an inspection at a construction site after the agency received complaints about unsafe work conditions with a high probability of a work injury. Penalties of $136,390 were issued to the companies. Both are reportedly known for prioritizing profits over safety.

OSHA said inspectors found workers on unsafe scaffolding structures working at a height of approximately 20 feet. The planking on the scaffold was reportedly lacking, and the structure was unsupported and unstable. Also, there was no safe access for workers to get on and off the scaffold.

The agency determined that the work schedule was shortened by the general contractor after the project was already underway. To meet the new deadline, the two contractors allegedly expected workers to put their lives on the line by working on scaffold structures with major safety deficiencies. Instead, says OSHA, employees should have been provided with basic safety protection to prevent serious or fatal workplace injuries.

After suffering a work injury, a Pennsylvania worker is entitled to pursue workers' compensation benefits. Claims for such benefits may be filed after an injured worker has had a medical evaluation. The workers' compensation insurance system typically covers medical expenses and lost income. In cases in which a worker's life is lost in an on-the-job accident, the surviving family members may pursue death benefits claims to assist them with the costs of a funeral and burial, along with some percentage of wage replacement to help with daily living costs for a specified period after their loss.

Source: ohsonline.com, "OSHA: Pennsylvania Contractors Expose Employees to Serious Workplace Dangers", May 24, 2016

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