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Region 7 News Release: OSHA/04-835-KAN
Date: Wed. May 26, 2004
Contact: Norma J. Conrad
$230,100 Proposed Penalty Combines Wichita and Lawrence Worksites
WICHITA, Kan. -- Failure to provide a safe work environment has resulted in citations issued today against San Antonio Lath & Plaster Inc. by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
"To ensure that injury and illness rates continue to decline, we must make sure that employers protect employees from workplace hazards," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "The significant penalty of $230,100 in this case demonstrates the Administration's commitment to protecting the health and safety of American workers."
The total fine combines proposed penalties of $102,900 and $127,200 for alleged violations found at worksites in Wichita and Lawrence, respectively.
The company received one repeat, three willful, six serious and one other-than-serious citation for alleged violations at the Lawrence worksite and seven repeat, seven serious and one other-than-serious citation for alleged violations at the Wichita worksite. The repeat, willful, and serious citations at both worksites all addressed safety standards involving scaffold hazards. Other alleged violations included failure to require employees to wear hard hats, deficiencies or lack of a hazard communication program, inadequate employee safety training and failure to provide injury and illness records.
OSHA issues a repeat citation when an employer is cited for a hazard for which it has been cited in the past. Willful violations are those committed with intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations. Serious violations are those in which there is substantial probability of death or serious physical harm from hazards about which the employer knew or should have known.
Thirteen inspections have been conducted of the company since 1995. Eleven resulted in citations for scaffold violations. In addition to the two current Kansas inspections, two more inspections have been conducted in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, both addressing fall hazards from scaffolds.
Specializing in stucco, lath and plaster applications, the San Antonio-based company operates throughout the United States. There have been as many as 29 workers employed with this firm, with seven of them covered under each of these current inspections.
In fiscal year 2003, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted almost 40,000 inspections, an increase of more than 2,000 inspections over FY 2002 levels; more than half focused on high-hazard industries. OSHA's role is to ensure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. 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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