Dec. 8, 2015
OSHA cites San Antonio framing contractor after worker falls 35 feet to his
death at Kyle, Texas, work site; employer continues to ignore hazards
Longhorn Contractors cited for safety violations at Kyle and Live Oak, Texas, work sites
SAN ANTONIO - Gabriel Palacios died after falling 35 feet from a roof while working for San Antonio-based Longhorn Contractors. The company failed to provide appropriate fall protection equipment and training, which led to his death, a federal inspection found.
Following a July 7, 2015, inspection by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency cited Longhorn Contractors on Dec. 8 for three serious, two repeated and one other violation found at an apartment complex work site in Kyle. OSHA cited the serious violations for failing to perform inspections and provide prompt medical attention and proper fall protection. The agency cited the repeated violations for not enforcing the use of fall protection or providing fall protection training. The other violation was for failing to report the fatality within 8 hours.
"Gabriel Palacios' tragic death occurred because Longhorn Contractors neglected to do the right thing and continued to expose workers to falls, which ultimately took the life of a 20-year employee," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin, of the Kyle investigation.
In a second investigation of the company on Aug. 27, 2015, an OSHA inspector observed a fall hazard at a construction work site in Live Oak. OSHA cited the company for three repeated and one serious violation. The agency cited the repeated violations for failing to provide fall protection and to address the safety and design of scaffold platforms. The serious violation was cited for using unstable objects as a work platform.
"Longhorn Contractors has failed to address safety hazards from seven previous OSHA citations dating back to 2008. The company continues to expose workers to preventable hazards," said Alejandro Porter, OSHA's area director in San Antonio, regarding the Live Oak investigation. "OSHA will stay vigilant to ensure the employer adheres to necessary safety requirements to protect personnel."
Longhorn Contractors, a framing business, employs approximately 30 workers. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its 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.
To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report amputations, eye loss, 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 Austin office at 512-374-0271 and San Antonio 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.
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Release Number: 15-2316-DAL
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