Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-64-5-23
Wed., May 24, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA ENFORCEMENT INCREASED AT DALLAS-FORT WORTH CONSTRUCTION SITES
Recent statistics show the Dallas-Fort Worth area leads the state of Texas in the number of construction-related fatalities. In 1999, there were 68 worker fatalities in the construction trades, 31 occurring in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area.
Throughout the metroplex, construction safety violations are often ignored in a building boom. In response, OSHA officials in North Texas have beefed up continued enforcement in an effort to reverse the trend.
"When investigators find those construction contractors and subcontractors who are not following the law, citations and penalties will be assessed for unsafe working conditions," said OSHA Fort Worth Area Director Dean Wingo.
OSHA officials are rededicating resources and increasing the number of inspectors to actively patrol construction sites for obvious unsafe conditions. A recent example includes a total of $35,950 in citations issued to a general contractor and two subcontractors working at a restaurant construction site in Grapevine.
Investigators found an unsafe scaffold being used for the masonry work. OSHA's standards require that fall protection be provided for employees working on a scaffold over 10 feet in height. Additionally, the contractors were cited for failure to provide workers with hard hats, failure to provide a ladder as access to the scaffold and failure to have a competent person provide regular inspections of the job sites and equipment to identify and correct hazards.
"These types of violations are just a small example of the kinds of unsafe conditions that could lead to injuries and that OSHA will continue to investigate," Wingo said.
Additionally, OSHA is working with area construction firms to provide training. There have been free safety seminars held to discuss OSHA compliance and OSHA will continue to offer a free 10-hour OSHA construction safety course in both English and Spanish. For more information on the safety course, please contact the Fort Worth OSHA office at (817) 428-2470 or the Dallas OSHA office at (214) 320-2400.
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