OSHA fines plastering company for worker’s falling death

Pennsylvania readers may be interested to learn that the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration has cited a Phoenix-based plastering company for safety violations stemming from the falling death of a worker earlier this year. In its report, which was issued Nov. 10, the agency recommended a fine of $407,600.

On May 14, a 44-year-old Dallas construction worker was applying stucco underlayment to the exterior walls of an apartment complex when he fell three floors to his death. According to OSHA, his employers, Design Plastering Inc. and Design Plastering West LLC, failed to provide scaffolding, a guardrail or personal fall protection for the victim and his co-workers. The agency cited the company for eight egregious violations and four serious violations due to the incident.

Arizona’s state OSHA previously fined the company $5,850 for seven fall-related violations. OSHA’s assistant secretary of labor called the victim’s death “senseless” and said that the previous fines “were not sufficient to deter this employer’s unlawful actions.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls accounted for 40 percent of all construction deaths in 2014. Texas leads the United States in construction deaths.

Most Pennsylvania construction workers who are injured on the job are eligible to file for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits pay for medical expenses and a portion of a worker’s salary during the recovery period. If an individual is left with a permanent disability, long-term benefits may also be available. Some people find it helpful to consult with an attorney as they prepare their workers’ compensation claim to ensure that all required documentation is included and all deadlines are met.