Canonsburg painting firm fined

Published Feb 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm (Updated Feb 1, 2013 at 12:12 pm)

Panthera Painting Inc. of Canonsburg faces fines of $459,844 after receiving citations from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OSHA, a branch of the U.S. Department of Labor, cited the firm for 38 alleged violations found in inspections at bridge work sites in Harrisburg and two Lehigh County towns, Slatington and Slatedale. OSHA said workers were exposed to lead and other health and safety hazards while conducting abrasive blasting and repainting. It said 14 of the violations were categorized as “willful” and 11 “repeat.”

Panthera is a subcontractor for PennDOT on bridge maintenance.

MaryAnn Garrahan, OSHA regional administrator in Philadelphia, said, “The employer’s refusal to correct the hazards, along with its history of failing to correct hazards, demonstrates a clear resistance to worker safety and health and leaves workers vulnerable to potential illnesses and injuries from overexposure to lead and other hazards. Employers have a legal responsibility to provide workers with safe and healthful workplaces. Anything less is unacceptable.”

Andy Manganas, owner of the company on Morganza Road, was unavailable for comment. OSHA said the agency has inspected Panthera projects five times in the past five years, and four resulted in serious citations.

Panthera Painting has 15 business days from when it received the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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