Wolff Construction cited by US Labor Department's OSHA for exposing
workers to falls and other hazards at San Marcos, Texas, work site
Proposed fines total $46,000
SAN MARCOS, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Wolff Construction LP with nine serious safety violations for exposing workers to fall hazards following a complaint inspection that began in October 2012 when workers were erecting concrete steel forms of heights up to 15 feet without wearing the required fall protection equipment at a San Marcos work site on North Fredericksburg Street. Proposed penalties total $46,000.
OSHA's Austin Area Office cited Wolff Construction for failing to provide the required personal protective equipment when working at heights of 6 feet or higher, train employees working on the leading edge of elevated surfaces on fall protection, ensure rigging equipment is inspected, ensure work areas are clear of debris, use safe lifting practices with an all-terrain forklift and guard reinforcing steel to eliminate impalement 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.
"A lack of fall protection means workers are one slip or step away from deadly or disabling falls," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "Employers must provide effective fall protection for their workers and ensure these workers are trained to recognize and address fall hazards."
OSHA has created a Stop Falls 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. 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.
Belton, Texas-based Wolff Construction has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's Austin Area Office or contest the findings 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 Austin office at 512-374-0271.
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 or CD from the COAST office upon request by calling 292-693-7828 or TTY 292-693-7755.