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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: OSHA-06-1213-DAL
Monday, July 31, 2006
Contact: Diana Petterson or Elizabeth Todd
Phone: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
AUSTIN, Texas -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited Lone Star Infrastructure in Austin following the death of an employee at the company's work site near Georgetown. Proposed penalties total $43,000.
OSHA cited the company for seven alleged serious, one alleged repeat and four alleged other-than-serious violations, following an investigation that began Feb. 15. The agency was notified that an employee, who was hosing down the auger of a paving machine, was caught in the rotating blades, killing him instantly. Lone Star Infrastructure, a consortium of companies working on the state Highway 130 project in the Austin-Georgetown area, employs about 1,200 workers involved in building roads and constructing bridge structures.
"This tragic accident could possibly have been avoided if the company had followed OSHA's safety standards," said Eric Harbin, OSHA's Austin area office director. "The company did not comply with the operating manual instructions that clearly state moving parts should never be running while equipment is being cleaned."
The serious violations included a failure to do the following: ensure that the power to construction equipment was shut down and locked out before an employee performed cleaning; protect employees from electrical hazards; and make necessary repairs or replace defective equipment. A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
The repeat violation was for failure to train employees about safety and maintenance procedures. Repeat citations are issued when an employer has previously been cited for the same or a substantially similar violation that has become a final order.
The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request and participate in an informal conference with OSHA's Austin area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
Austin-area employers and workers with questions about safety and health can call (512) 374-0271. They can also use OSHA's hotline number at (800) 321-6742 to report workplace accidents, fatalities or imminent dangers.
Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure 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 (DOL) releases are accessible on the Internet at 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. The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.
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