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Region 4 News Release: USDOL: 01-29
Monday, Feb. 26, 2001
Contact: Susan Johnston
Phone: (770) 984-8700
OSHA CITES CONTRACTORS FOLLOWING FATAL ACCIDENT AT ACWORTH, GA, CONSTRUCTION SITE
The Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited a Georgia general contractor and three sub-contractors following a fatal fall at an Acworth construction site. The four were charged with seven serious and four repeat safety violations with proposed penalties totaling $48,600.
According to Susan Johnston, OSHA's Atlanta-West area director, the accident occurred Nov. 10 when an employee of Victor Javier Campos, one of the sub-contractors on the site, fell 28 feet from the roof of a three-story apartment building under construction. The employee died four days later.
Following an inspection, OSHA cited the four contractors for failing to protect employees working six feet or more above the ground and for failing to conduct frequent inspections of the worksite. The violations were classified as serious for general contractor J. Andrews Construction Co. and sub-contractor Victor Javier Campos, but as repeat with regard to the two other sub-contractors -- Antonio Ruiz and Charles M Paine, Inc. -- because both had been inspected and fined by OSHA in February 1998 for the same violations.
Additional serious citations were issued against Ruiz and Campos for failing to train employees about fall hazards and protection against them.
"Falls are a leading cause of injuries and fatalities in the construction industry," said Johnston. "Many serious injuries and deaths could be prevented if employers would develop effective fall protection programs, including hazard assessments, use of proper equipment to control the hazard of falls, establishing trustworthy anchor points for guardrails and lifelines, and implementing sound work rules."
Johnston added, "Educating employees in how to protect themselves is an extremely important part of a responsible fall protection program, and the training should be frequently reinforced."
A repeat violation occurs when an employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
A serious violation is one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew of or should have known of the hazard.
All four companies have 15 working days to contest the OSHA citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Board.
Inspection of the worksite was conducted by OSHA's Atlanta-West area office located at 2400 Herodian Way, Suite 250, Smyrna, Ga., 30080-2968; telephone: (770) 984-8700.
For additional safety information or assistance in developing a fall protection program, contact the Atlanta -West area office. OSHA's toll-free, nationwide hotline -- 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742) -- may be used to report workplace accidents or fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, especially if they occur outside normal business hours.
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