An Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspector driving by a construction site decided that what he saw didn't cut muster, so he dropped in for a surprise inspection. When he departed the firm, he left behind notice of a substantial fine to be paid.

All in a day's work, evidently.

What the inspector noticed from the street was that the residential construction site in Lancaster County, Pa., was utilizing substandard scaffolding, which lacked guardrails and a fall-arrest system.

During his impromptu visit, the inspector uncovered three serious scaffolding violations by Quality Stone Veneers (which had been previously cited in West Virginia for similar violations), and levied $154,400 in fines.

The chance of being randomly sighted in violation at a construction site are slim. More likely, an employee may lodge a complaint, but in either case, OSHA safety standards should be adhered to at all times. As seen by this example, fines can be steep, but the danger to human life even greater.

Just ask Quality Stone Veneers.