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Region 5 News Release: 11-1756-CHI
Dec. 29, 2011
Contact: Scott Allen      Rhonda Burke
Phone: 312-353-6976      312-353-4807
Email: allen.scott@dol.gov      burke.rhonda@dol.gov

US Department of Labor's OSHA cites Texas roofing contractor
Martha M. Alvarez for lack of fall protection at 3 Wisconsin work sites

MADISON, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Martha M. Alvarez, a residential roofing contractor based in Houston, Texas, with six safety violations for failing to provide fall protection at three Wisconsin job sites. OSHA's inspections were conducted at two sites in Cambridge and one in Janesville under a local emphasis program for fall protection. Proposed fines total $102,300.

"Falls are the leading cause of death and injury in the construction industry. Employers such as Martha M. Alvarez have a responsibility to ensure that workers are provided with and trained in the use of required fall protection," said Kim Stille, director of OSHA's Madison Area Office. "OSHA is committed to protecting workers, especially when employers fail to do so."

Three willful violations are for failing to provide fall protection on commercial and/or residential roofs at the three inspected sites. Each violation carries a proposed penalty of $30,800. A willful violation is one committed with intentional, knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirement, or plain indifference to employee safety and health.

Three serious violations, one for each job site, are for failing to implement a safety and health program. Each violation carries a proposed penalty of $3,300. 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.

OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers perform residential construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level. Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html.

Local emphasis programs are intended to address hazards or industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the jurisdiction of a particular OSHA regional or area office, and they are accompanied by outreach to area employers.

Martha M. Alvarez has been inspected six times by OSHA since November 2010, resulting in citations for 13 violations. The citations from these most recent inspections can be viewed at
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/marthamalvarez_77283_1222_11.pdf*
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/marthamalvarez_92328_1222_11.pdf*
http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/marthamalvarez_92842_1222_11.pdf*.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings 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 Madison office at 608-441-5388. 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.


* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF documents.


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