US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Georgia stucco and stone company
for exposing workers to fall hazards, proposes $78,000 in penalties
SMYRNA, Ga. – 'The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Escape Stucco and Stone of Powder Springs for nine safety violations following an inspection that found workers were exposed to fall hazards while replacing a chimney at 3860 S. Cobb Drive in Smyrna. OSHA initiated the inspection as part of a local emphasis program on protecting workers from falls in the construction industry. Proposed penalties total $78,000.
Six repeat violations with $70,000 in fines involve allowing employees to use a scaffolding system that was not fully planked; permitting the scaffolding legs not to be adequately supported on the base plates; failing to have a ladder on the scaffolding as a means to access and exit the working platform; failing to protect workers from falling more than 25 feet by having a guardrail, safety net or personal arrest system in place; missing cross bracing on the scaffolding system; and not ensuring employees working on a fabricated frame scaffold were trained to recognize and minimize hazards. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for these same violations in December 2010 and January 2011.
Three serious violations with $8,000 in penalties include failing to develop and implement a written hazard communication program for chemicals that could cause serious burns, allowing employees to use scaffolding that was assembled with parts from different manufacturers, and allowing employees to work from a poorly constructed and unstable scaffolding system. 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.
"The size of these penalties demonstrates the gravity and recurring nature of these hazards, any one of which could have resulted in death or disabling injuries for these workers," said Andre C. Richards, director of OSHA's Atlanta-West Area Office. "In the last two years, this employer has been cited for similar hazards and that is totally unacceptable. It's time for this employer to make safety and health a priority at all of its job sites before someone is killed."
Detailed information on scaffold hazards and safe work practices, including an interactive e-Tool, is available on line at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
Escape Stucco and Stone has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and proposed penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. The site was inspected by OSHA's Atlanta-West office, which is located at 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250, Smyrna, Ga. 30080.
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 Atlanta-West office at 678-903-7301.
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 information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.