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Danger in putting another brick in the wall

Brick facades add a look of solid dependability to homes. The facades make the houses look sturdy and safe. But a recent report from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration indicates that workers installing the brick facades are not always as safe as they should be.

Six Pennsylvania masonry workers who were installing brick facades on residences were unaware as they worked that every move they made on the scaffolding could have been their last. The construction workers were in danger of serious injuries or even fatalities as they laid bricks on a south Philadelphia worksite.

The bricklayers were on an improperly braced scaffold their employer had allowed to be erected too close to power lines. OSHA notes that not only were the workers in danger of a scaffold collapse, but a scaffold collapse on to live power lines. It does not take a lot of imagination to figure out the wide array of serious injuries those work-accident possibilities held for the workers.

So in November of last year, OSHA inspectors were notified of these dangers and they went to site and notified the employer of the lapses in safety standards. Less than three weeks later, inspectors were asked to visit another of the same employer's worksites.

Again, they found that workers were exposed to serious scaffolding dangers. The employer had clearly not learned a thing from the first visit. The second visit resulted in eight citations for safety violations, with penalties totaling $470,300.

The employer "has a long history of exposing workers to safety hazards," an OSHA spokesperson said. Hopefully, the fines will get his attention focused on the safety of the workers on which his business depends.

When construction accidents happen, they often involve dangerous falls from scaffolding and electric shock; both of which can cause severe injuries.

The law office of Friday & Cox LLC is dedicated to helping injured, eligible employees get full, fair workers' compensation benefits. Please see our Pittsburgh Workers' Compensation Attorneys page for more information about how we can help you fight for your benefits.

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