OSHA cites Gonzalez Stucco & Stone for serious safety hazards;
more than $54,000 in fines proposed
AUBURN, Ala. – Based in Auburn, Gonzalez Stucco & Stone LLC has been cited by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for four repeat and one serious safety violation following an inspection at a residential construction site at 283 Bentley Court. The agency initiated the June 2014 inspection as part of its National Emphasis Program on Falls. Proposed penalties total $54,120.
The repeat citations, with $52,360 in penalties, were issued for exposing workers to falls ranging from 18 to 26 feet. The employer failed to plank scaffolds fully, ensure guardrails were installed on open sides and provide adequate access to scaffolding. The employer neglected to provide fall protection devices for workers preparing to lay brick around a chimney. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Gonzalez was cited for fall protection and scaffolding violations in 2013 and has an extensive OSHA inspection history.
The serious citation, with penalties totaling $1,760, was issued for exposing workers to falls up to 26 feet and failing to train employees regarding scaffolding hazards. A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
"Falls continue to be a leading cause of death for employees. For an employer to expose workers continually to fall hazards is unacceptable and will result in OSHA vigorously enforcing the requirements to protect employees," said Joseph Roesler, director of OSHA's Mobile Area Office.
OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.
Gonzalez Stucco & Stone is a masonry contractor that employs two workers. The company has15 business days from receipt of its citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Mobile area director, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Mobile Area Office at 251-441-6131.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).