Pittsburgh Construction Company Cited by OSHA for Lack of Fall Protection

A worker falling 225 feet to his death has resulted in OSHA citing Mariani & Richards Inc. for failing to protect workers from falls. OSHA began its investigation on Aug. 18, 2009, and found that Mariani & Richards did not provide workers with any fall protection while they were performing maintenance on the Pennsylvanian Building, a historic landmark in downtown Pittsburgh.

The 53-year-old man from Plum, Roy Pfoertner, was a masonry worker on the project and was working on the roof when he fell 13 stories on what was the final day of the renovation project.

As a result of the investigation, the company has been cited with one willful violation and a proposed penalty of $70,000.

“This company was cited for the same violation in November 2007 but never took the proper steps to ensure workers were safe at this worksite, resulting in this tragedy,” said Robert Szymanski, director of OSHA’s Pittsburgh office. “OSHA will not tolerate employers who flagrantly ignore the regulations designed to protect workers on the job.”

OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with plain indifference to or intentional disregard for employee safety and health.

Detailed information about fall hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA’s Web site at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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