US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Roma Construction of Atascosa, Texas,
for exposing workers to scaffolding hazards at San Antonio work site
SAN ANTONIO – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Roma Construction with six safety violations after an inspection of the company's work site on Wild Basin in San Antonio found employees exposed to scaffolding hazards while applying stucco to the exterior of a home. A July 20 inspection was conducted as part of OSHA's regional emphasis program to prevent occupational fatalities and injuries from falls, electrical hazards, and "struck by" and "caught by" hazards. Proposed penalties total $50,820.
"This is not the first time Roma Construction has jeopardized the safety of its employees," said Jeff Funke, OSHA's area director in San Antonio. "Exposing workers to possible falls is unacceptable and can have tragic consequences."
One serious violation was cited for failing to ensure that employees erecting, dismantling, moving, repairing, maintaining or inspecting scaffolding were trained by a competent person to recognize the hazards associated with working on a scaffold. 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.
Five repeat violations include failing to ensure that working levels of scaffolding were fully planked with safe means of access and egress, ensure that scaffolding was inspected by a competent person for visible defects and protect employees from falling by providing guardrail systems or other means. 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. OSHA cited the company in February and March of 2009 for similar violations with proposed penalties of $4,050 and $3,450, respectively.
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 residential 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.
Atascosa-based Roma Construction has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio area director 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 standards can call OSHA's San Antonio office at 210-472-5040. 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, audiotape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.