June 6, 2007
Contact: Dan Fuqua Michael Wald
Phone: (404) 562-2078 (404) 562-2076
Department proposes $123,750 in fines for serious and repeat violations
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed $123,750 in penalties against Fast-J Steel Erectors and Magna Steel Erectors for serious and repeat safety violations committed while constructing a metal building near Gadsden, Ala. Both companies are based in Houston, Texas, and have the same owner.
Under an agency regional emphasis program focused on reducing falls in the construction industry, an OSHA compliance officer initiated an inspection after observing fall hazards at the site.
"These companies placed their employees' lives at risk by allowing unsafe working conditions," said Roberto Sanchez, OSHA's area director in Birmingham. "Falls are a leading cause of death in construction and most are preventable if companies follow the proper procedures."
OSHA proposed a $105,750 penalty against Fast-J Steel Erectors for two serious and three repeat safety violations. Serious violations included the company's failure to conduct frequent and regular inspections of the jobsite and their employees' failure to wear protective head gear. The repeat violations included lack of fall protection while on the structure, lack of fall protection while using aerial lifts, and climbing onto and over railings while engaged in steel erection activities. Inspectors cited the company for similar hazards in 2006.
OSHA has determined that Fast-J Steel Erectors falls under its Enhanced Enforcement Program, which targets employers indifferent to their obligations under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970.
Magna Steel Erectors was cited for four serious safety violations with a proposed penalty of $18,000 for using unsafe electrical equipment, a lack of fall protection on aerial lifts, improper installation of a fall protection system and not securing the building's framework before placing construction loads on the steel.
The companies have 15 working days to contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by staff from OSHA's Birmingham Area Office, 950 22nd St., Room 1050; telephone (205) 731-1534.
Under the OSH Act, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
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