Someone needs to get the lead out and sharpen their understanding of the NEC.
Yes, you can blame the EC for the installation but what about the Electrical Inspector that approved it for utility service and the POCO that mounted the point of attachment insulator when they...
If you have a reason to access those lower level condulet, you must have bigger problems then just the cover screws.
New meter pan installation must have required electrical inspection by POCO.....blame the AHJ for signing off on the installation.
Electrical Inspector must be a political position