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Region 3 News Release: 11-372-PHI (osha 11-018)
March 22, 2011
Contact: Leni Fortson   Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102   215-861-5101
E-mail: uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov   hawkins.joanna@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA fines Canonsburg, Pa., company nearly $130,000 for
exposing workers to lead hazards, other violations at Harrisburg, Pa., worksite

CANONSBURG, Pa. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued citations against Panthera Painting Co. Inc. for exposing workers to dangerously high levels of lead, among other violations, while repainting and performing lead abatement at the George Wade Bridge in Harrisburg. Proposed penalties total $129,900.

OSHA began inspecting the site in September 2010 after being alerted to the hazards during another inspection involving the project's general contractor.

"Panthera Painting's failure to implement the proper safeguards left employees exposed to lead levels above the permissible limit," said Kevin Kilp, director of OSHA's area office in Harrisburg. "Lead overexposure is a leading cause of workplace illness that can lead to serious adverse health problems."

OSHA cited Panthera for one willful violation, with a penalty of $42,000, for failing to monitor lead levels on a quarterly basis. A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional disregard for the requirements of the law or plan indifference to employee safety and health.

Twenty-nine serious violations, with a penalty of $87,300, include exposing workers to lead levels in excess of the permissible limit, electrical hazards, deficiencies in the company's lead protection program, failing to properly provide medical evaluations for employees prior to respi