US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Tampa Enterprises for exposing
workers to fall hazards at Columbus, Ohio, job site; penalties total $161,000
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued Tampa Enterprises, operating as European Craft Construction, five safety citations for failing to provide fall protection for workers at a commercial job site in Columbus. The company faces penalties totaling $161,000 as a result of OSHA's December inspection.
"Falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death in the construction industry," said Deborah Zubaty, OSHA's area director in Columbus. "Employers are responsible for knowing what hazards exist on their job sites, taking appropriate precautions and following OSHA standards to ensure that workers are not exposed to safety risks."
Tampa Enterprises was issued four repeat safety citations, with proposed penalties of $154,000, for allowing employees to use cross braces as a means of access when the scaffold platform was more than 2 feet above a point of access; failing to have guard rail systems installed along all open sides and ends of platforms; failing to erect a toe board along the edge of a platform more than 10 feet above workers on lower levels to protect them from materials that may fall; and failing to ensure employees working from a scaffold were properly trained and aware of fall protection requirements, safe access and toe boards. 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 other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Tampa Enterprises previously was cited for using cross braces as a means of access, and failing to install guardrails and toe boards in 2006 at work sites in Chillicothe and Heath.
One serious citation with a proposed penalty of $7,000 was issued for failing to install all required fall protection systems for employees working from scaffolds. 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.
Tampa Enterprises is headquartered in Dalton, Ga. The inspection was conducted under a local emphasis program for fall hazards.
OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers perform construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level. Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and 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. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Columbus Area Office at 614-469-5582. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
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.