Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Contact: Diana Petterson Elizabeth Todd
Phone: 972-850-4709 972-850-4710
GARLAND, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations with proposed penalties totaling $157,600 to Shelby Stephens Construction Inc., a Fort Worth, Texas-based contractor, for allegedly failing to protect employees from falls and falling objects at two of its worksites in Garland.
OSHA cited the wood-framing company, which has 19 employees, for eight alleged serious and 15 alleged repeat violations following two OSHA inspections which began on Jan.7 at the company's worksite at 5085 President George Bush Freeway and Feb, 11 at 310 Town Center Blvd. in Garland. The investigations revealed that employees were not being adequately protected from falls and falling objects, and other workplace hazards.
"This is not the first time this employer has exposed its employees to unsafe working conditions," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's area director in Dallas. "Protecting employees from potential fall hazards is critical, and employers must follow OSHA's standards to provide a healthful working environment. It is fortunate in this case that no injuries occurred."
The serious violations at the President George Bush Freeway location were for failing to: extend the end of platforms at least 6 inches over the centerline of its support, ensure that 10-foot platforms extended more than 12 inches over their support and provide a ladder at all points of access. Serious violations at the Town Center Boulevard worksite include failure to install adequate bracing on scaffolding and to ensure scaffold poles were set on a firm foundation. A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result when the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
Repeat violations include Shelby Stephens Construction's failure to provide employees with fall protection equipment, such as helmets; to provide employees with personal protective equipment when working with power tools, such as goggles to protect the eyes; and to ensure platforms and walkways are at least 18 inches in width. A repeat violation is defined as a violation that previously was cited where, upon re-inspection, a substantially similar violation is found.
Shelby Stephens Construction has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director in Dallas, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health may contact OSHA's Dallas Area Office at 214-320-2400. A toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to employees; telephone 800-321-6742.
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 information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.