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Region 6 News Release: OSHA-04-54-DAL
Wed., Feb. 4, 2004
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, Ext. 222 or 221
DALLAS -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited three Texas firms and a Georgia-based general contractor for failing to provide a safe workplace and for exposing workers to a structural hazard. OSHA's investigation followed an August 2003 fatal accident at a construction site in Carrollton, Texas. Proposed penalties total $68,650.
The fatality occurred when two masonry columns collapsed during a wind and rainstorm. Employees of stucco contractor Jose Crespin used the columns to shield themselves from the weather. A worker was killed when the columns overturned.
OSHA cited Umphress Masonry Inc., of Fort Worth with two alleged willful and one alleged serious violations and proposed penalties of $58,100. The alleged willful violations involved failure to build masonry columns in accordance with approved specifications, and neglecting to ensure a competent person corrected deficiencies in the columns. The alleged serious citation was for failure to use temporary bracing once the columns' height exceeded 8 feet.
"This company failed to protect its workers; had they used the information available to them, it might have helped prevent this tragedy," said Kathryn Delaney, Dallas OSHA area director. "Ultimately, Umphress Masonry left obvious deficiencies uncorrected and put their workers at risk by deviating from the approved structural plans."
T.D. Farrell Construction, Inc., the general contractor from Alpharetta, Ga., received one serious citation with proposed penalties of $3,500 for failing to ensure that a competent person inspected the job site at critical stages to ensure that official plans were followed.
Drywall Interiors, a framing contractor in Irving, received one serious citation with proposed penalties of $4,500 for failing to follow the approved plans and specifications.
Lewisville-based Jose Crespin, a stucco contractor, was issued two serious citations with proposed penalties of $2,550 for failing to instruct employees on measures to take during inclement weather and for electrical hazards associated with their work.
A willful citation is issued for violations committed with disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. OSHA defines a serious violation as one in which there is substantial possibility that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known about the hazard.
The employers have 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Dallas OSHA are director or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Employers and workers with questions about workplace safety and health may call the Dallas OSHA area office at (214) 320-2400. OSHA's toll-free hotline number may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-6742.
OSHA is dedicated to saving lives, preventing injuries and illnesses. The agency conducted almost 40,000 inspections in fiscal year 2003, an increase of more than 5,300 over 1999 levels. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department releases are accessible on the Internet at http://www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call (202) 693-7765 or TTY (202) 693-7755.
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