Sept. 8, 2014
Plastering subcontractor repeatedly exposed workers to fall hazards
Roma Construction cited for 12 repeat and serious safety violations
SAN ANTONIO – Roma Construction Inc., a stucco plastering subcontractor of Monticello Homes, is being cited for five repeat and seven serious violations by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The company exposed workers to falls hazards of up to 20 feet as a result of improper scaffolding at the Hastings Ridge at Kinder Ranch residential development. The proposed penalty is $79,200.
OSHA's San Antonio Area Office conducted a safety inspection as part of the agency's regional emphasis program on reducing injuries and fatalities at construction sites. Investigators found employees applying exterior stucco from a scaffold with little planking or platforms to work from and no railing to protect the workers from a fall. Scaffolding violations are one of the 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards.
"These hazards are absolutely preventable if the appropriate fall protection measures are in place. A fall can rob a worker of their livelihood or, worse, their life," said Kelly C. Knighton, OSHA's area director in San Antonio. "Roma Construction has a history of repeatedly failing to provide safe scaffolds and train its workers on fall hazards. Their disregard for worker safety is unacceptable."
The five repeat violations, with a penalty of $58,520, were cited for failure to: provide guardrails, ensure scaffold platforms and walkways were at least 18 inches wide, provide proper access and egress, and train employees on properly erecting and dismantling scaffolding equipment. 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 previously cited in 2009 and 2011 at other San Antonio work sites.
With a penalty of $20,680, the seven serious violations were cited for: failure to ensure makeshift devices were not used on the scaffold platforms to extend the working level height; failure to provide cross bracing and ensure that scaffolds were erected, moved or altered by trained workers under an experienced supervisor; and failure to develop, implement and maintain a hazard communication plan. 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.
Roma Construction, which employed approximately 10 workers at this construction site, has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety & 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 San Antonio Area Office at 210-472-5040.
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.
Release Number: 14-1579-DAL
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