Region 6 News Release: OSHA-02-92
Thurs., June 13, 2002
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
Failure to Protect Tower Construction Workers Brings
New Braunfels, Texas, Firm $44,100 in OSHA Fines
Agency Cites Texcom Services Following Fatal Accident in May
DALLAS -- The failure of a New Braunfels, Texas, communications tower erector firm to provide appropriate hoisting equipment and training for its employees has resulted in citations and proposed penalties of $44,100 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
OSHA has cited The Waylon Group Ltd., doing business as Texcom Services with two alleged safety violations, following its investigation of a May accident in which two workers were killed and one was seriously injured. All three fell approximately 200 feet while being lowered from the tower by a single rope.
The Labor Department agency cited the company for one alleged willful violation for failing to use appropriate equipment to hoist the workers, contrary to guidelines established by OSHA and the tower erection and servicing industry for personnel hoisting. A willful violation is defined as one committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the OSHA Act and regulations.
An alleged serious violation was issued for failing to train employees to recognize jobsite hazards. A serious violation is one that could cause death or serious physical harm to employees when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Texcom Services employs about nine workers. The company was erecting a Verizon Wireless tower near the intersection of Highways 21 and 77 near Lincoln, Texas.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the nearest OSHA office. OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-6742.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the area director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov.