US Department of Labor's OSHA cites remodeling contractors following
worker injuries from balcony collapse at Austin, Texas, job site
AUSTIN, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Martin's Concrete Construction, Stir Construction Inc. and JM Construction for serious and repeat safety violations following an incident at an Austin construction site that resulted in injuries to three workers. Proposed penalties for the companies total $143,880.
OSHA's Austin Area Office initiated an investigation on June 24 following a report that a third-floor balcony had collapsed at a construction site off of Convict Hill Road. Three employees of Martin's Concrete Construction fell 16 feet to the ground and received medical treatment for their injuries.
OSHA has cited Austin-based Martin's Concrete Construction for eight serious safety violations, including failing to develop a safety and health program, provide employees with safety and health training, ensure that shoring was designed by a qualified designer and provide fall protection such as guardrails when working on projects at levels higher than 6 feet. 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. Proposed penalties total $28,800.
General contractor Stir Construction, based in Rockwall, has been cited for 12 serious safety violations involving failing to provide training on the use of forklifts, provide fall protection for employees when working on scaffolding, ensure that scaffolding was erected properly and adequately inspect shoring. Proposed penalties total $43,800.
Framing contractor JM Construction, headquartered in Grand Prairie, has been cited for 12 serious violations for failing to provide fall protection to employees while working at heights of 16 feet or higher at a residential work site, ensure that the concrete shoring was adequate to support the balcony's load and ensure the scaffolding was safely erected. Additionally, one repeat violation has been cited for failing to provide fall protection. 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. Proposed penalties total $71,280. JM Construction was cited for similar violations in August 2007.
"Failure to effectively implement OSHA's safety and health standards to protect workers from potential workplace hazards can lead to serious or fatal injuries," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "If the company had installed the proper shoring, it is possible these injuries could have been avoided."
For more information on the requirements for fall protection at residential construction work sites, visit http://www.osha.gov/doc/topics/residentialprotection/index.html.
The citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/JMConstruction-315625632-12-19-11.pdf*,
The companies each have 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 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, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF documents.