Sunday, April 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

UPDATE: Contractor at 'illegal' site where worker fell: 'I think I'm cool'

Plaster contractor McGee cited in previous cases

UPDATE: Contractor at 'illegal' site where worker fell: 'I think I'm cool'

UPDATE: L&I calls North Philly development where worker was hurt illegal, says it lacked permit; developer Shawn Bullard, an ex Temple Owl football player, says injury is subcontractor McGee Plastering's problem: 'I think I'm cool'. More in today's Philadelphia Inquirer here 

Federal Occupational Safety and Health and city Licenses and Inspections investigators are reviewing a serious injury at a non-union construction site near 18th and Montgomery that sent a Philadelphia worker to Hahnemann Hospital Tuesday.

The worker's employer, plastering contracter Darren McGee, referred my questions to his lawyer, who has not returned a call. McGee was fined a proposed $85,800 for "repeated" safety violations on a job at 1201 Latona Street, including "a lack of fall protection" and "no restraints/bracing," and again in November for $89,760 for violations at 274 Leverington Ave., OSHA spokeswoman Leni Fortson told me. McGee had "similar violations" in 2010 and 2011, OSHA said in a statement after the September violations. OSHA lacks authority in such cases to shut a contractor down, Fortson added.

City L&I inspectors shut the site down at 1 p.m. yesterday after a worker "fell 40 feet", apparently after touching an electric wire, Al Martino, a Bricklayers union representative who visited the accident site, told me. He said he knew the injured worker, a former union member who's been working non-union jobs for four years 'because he needed income." He said the man has been transferred to another hospital and listed in critical condition.  Martino also told me he had personally noted potential safety violations at the site prior to yesterday's accident, and reported them to OSHA.


Joseph N. DiStefano
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PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

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