Upper Darby builder cited as 'severe violator' by OSHA, fined $89K

The U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited an Upper Darby contracting firm for safety violations allegedly committed during the bricklaying of new residential homes in Manayunk, the agency announced Monday.

OSHA is proposing $89,760 in fines for McGee Plastering & Stucco, which the agency characterizes as a "severe violator" due to a slew of citations they've handed down to the firm in the past.

OSHA officials in May inspected the construction site at Leverington Avenue and Silverwood Street after receiving an imminent danger complaint. The investigation led OSHA to slap McGee with four safety violations on Nov. 5.

Two of the alleged violations — failing to provide guardrails or to install braces to prevent a scaffold collapse — are considered "willful," meaning they were committed with voluntary disregard for the law or indifference to worker safety. Those violations carry a $77,000 penalty.

One repeat violation, which accounted for $11,000 of the fine, concerned not providing workers with safe access to the working levels of the frame scaffolding. McGee was cited for similar hazards in September and October 2010, as well as in July 2011.

McGee also faces a $1,760 penalty for one serious violation, described as a hazard the company knew or should have known about that posed a substantial possibility of serious harm or death. That violation entails the company's alleged failure to provide adequate training to employees working with Portland cement, dolomitic lime and hydrochloric acid.

McGee was last cited by OSHA in September, when it received 10 safety violations relating to recurring fall hazards, poor head protection and inadequate training worker training. The contractor was already placed in the agency's Severe Violators Enforcement Program, which targets "recalcitrant" employers that endanger workers by committing willful or repeat safety violations. 

“Six prior inspections for serious and repeat violations indicate a pattern of disregard for safety and workers’ well-being that will not be tolerated,” director of OSHA's Philadelphia area office Domenick Salvatore said Monday in a news release. “These hazards pose a risk to employees and must be corrected promptly to ensure a safe workplace.”

An OSHA representative said McGee, which has 15 days from the receipt of the citations to comply or contest them, has not yet responded to the most recent charges.

A person who answered the phone at McGee would not comment and said to "call back tomorrow."