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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-08-635-DAL
Friday, June 6, 2008
Contact: Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4710

U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA fines construction contractor $72,000 for repeat safety violations at Covington, La., worksite

COVINGTON, La. -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited R. K. Wallace Construction Inc., doing business as Wallace Steel Erectors, with three repeat safety violations and proposed penalties totaling $72,000 for allegedly failing to protect employees from fall hazards at its Covington worksite.

"OSHA's regulations specifically state that any employee working upwards of 15 to 30 feet, while performing steel erection, must wear a harness," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "No worksite should fail to protect employees from the hazards of falling. It is fortunate that no one was injured."

OSHA's area office in Baton Rouge, La., began an inspection March 19 at the company's worksite on Highway 1057 in Covington. The investigation found that the company failed to provide employees with fall hazard equipment while performing steel erection activities, and did not provide training and instruction to employees exposed to fall hazards. The company also failed to ensure that the scaffold platform used to lift employees by a rough terrain forklift was attached to the forks of the lift. A repeat violation is defined as a violation that previously was cited where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found.

Jayess, Miss.-based R. K. Wallace Construction has about 40 employees. The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Baton Rouge, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards may contact OSHA's Baton Rouge Area Office at 225-298-5458 or call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees.

OSHA operates a vigorous enforcement program, conducting more than 38,000 inspections last year and exceeding its inspection goals in each of the last seven years. In fiscal year 2006, OSHA found nearly 84,000 violations of its standards and regulations.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote 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


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