US Labor Department's OSHA proposes more than $48,000 in fines to
Jr Stucco for fall and other hazards at Dripping Springs, Texas, work site
DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Jr Stucco for five serious and two repeat safety violations at a Dripping Springs work site where workers were erecting a concrete block wall on scaffolding without required fall protection equipment. OSHA opened an inspection in March as part of the agency's regional emphasis program on falls and has proposed a total of $48,180 in penalties.
"By failing to provide proper fall protection, Jr Stucco is risking worker injuries and possible death. This is not the first time the company has jeopardized the safety of its workers," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry, and proper precautions must be taken."
The serious violations include failing to train workers on how to control scaffold hazards, place protective caps on re-enforcing bars protruding from the foundation, brace the freestanding concrete block walls against collapse and establish a limited access zone near the concrete block walls. 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 repeat violations include failing to fully plank the working platform of a scaffold and erect protective guardrails on scaffolding where employees are working at heights of 10 feet or more. 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. Similar violations were cited in April and December 2009.
In April, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a campaign to provide employers and workers with lifesaving information and educational materials about working safely from ladders, scaffolds and roofs in an effort to prevent deadly falls in the construction industry. In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and more than 250 workers were killed. OSHA's fall prevention campaign was developed in partnership with the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and NIOSH's National Occupational Research Agenda program. More information on fall protection standards is available in English and Spanish at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls.
Jr Stucco, headquartered in Tomball, has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Austin, 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 call 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 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.