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Region 6 News Release: 11-1183-DAL
Aug. 17, 2011
Contact: Elizabeth Todd   Juan Rodriguez
Phone: 972-850-4710   972-850-4709
Email: todd.elizabeth@dol.gov   rodriguez.juan@dol.gov

US Labor Department's OSHA cites Buffalo Framing and Truss with serious and
repeat violations for construction hazards at 2 Dripping Springs, Texas, sites

DRIPPING SPRINGS, Texas – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Austin-based Buffalo Framing and Truss LP for 13 serious and one repeat safety violation resulting from inspections at two of the company's work sites in Dripping Springs. Proposed penalties total $58,100.

"Contractors in residential construction will be held accountable for the safety of all workers," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "OSHA will not tolerate a company's complacency toward hazards confronting workers on a daily basis."

As part of a regional emphasis program on construction hazards, OSHA began an inspection on March 31 at the company's work site on Old Fitzhugh Road, where workers were constructing four multi-family town homes. On May 10, OSHA inspected the company's hotel construction work site at 2670 E. U.S. Highway 290. OSHA investigators found numerous fall protection violations at both sites while employees were performing work from ladders, scaffolding and rooftops up to 20 feet high. Buffalo Framing and Truss was the primary framing contractor that hired subcontractors to conduct the work at these multi-employer work sites.

The serious safety violations include failing to provide training on the hazards of working on scaffolding; ensure workers operating pneumatic and electrical power tools were utilizing eye protection; ensure electrical cords were properly maintained; and ensure employees working on rooftops and in front of wall openings were provided with fall protection equipment. 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.

The repeat violation was cited for failing to have a qualified, competent person conduct frequent and regular inspections. 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. OSHA cited the company for similar violations in August 2010.

OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails or personal fall arrest systems, be used during construction activities on scaffolds 10 feet or more above the next lower level as well as on roofs or walking/working surfaces 6 feet or more above the next lower level. Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available on OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.

Buffalo Framing and Truss has 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.

Employers and employees with questions about workplace safety and health standards can call OSHA's Austin Area Office at 512-374-0271. To report workplace incidents, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, call the agency's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742).

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.

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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.


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