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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-00-57-5-12
Fri., MAY 12, 2000
Contact: Diana Petterson
PHONE: (214) 767-4776, ext. 222
OSHA PROPOSES $43,950 IN PENALTIES AGAINST A CONTRACTOR AT A TEXAS APARTMENT CONSTRUCTION SITE
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited B.R. Brick & Masonry in Houston for 13 alleged safety and health violations and proposed penalties of $43,950, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
B. R. Brick & Masonry was a subcontractor performing work for Blazer Residential, the prime contractor, at an apartment construction site at 6520 Broadway in Pearland, Texas.
The alleged violations were discovered during an unprogrammed inspection which began Nov. 24 when bricklayers were working on unsafe, inadequately constructed scaffolding with no fall protection. OSHA's standards require that fall protection be provided for employees working on a scaffold over 10 feet in height.
B. R. Brick & Masonry was cited for nine serious violations, three repeat violations, and 1 other-than-serious violation.
Some of the nine serious violations included the employer not maintaining copies of the required material safety data sheets for each hazardous chemical in the workplace; not maintaining an inspection program conducted by a competent person that examined job sites, materials and equipment on a frequent and regular basis; employees were not protected by protective helmets while working in areas where there was a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns; employees on a walkway located within a scaffold was not protected by a guardrail system; and scaffolds were not erected, moved, dismantled, or altered only under the supervision and direction of a competent person qualified.
A serious violation is one in which there is a substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.
The three repeat violations included the platforms on working levels of the scaffolds were not fully planked or decked between the front upright and the guardrail supports; guardrail systems did not meet fall protection requirements and the employer did not identify and evaluate the respiratory hazards in the workplace.
A repeat violation is one in which the employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition.
An other-than-serious violation is a violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature.
The Houston South OSHA office has developed a local emphasis program to address unsafe construction work sites. OSHA dedicates significant resources to address the safety and health concerns in the construction industry.
Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health standards can call the nearest OSHA office. OSHA's toll-free hotline may be used to report workplace accidents, fatalities, or situations posing imminent danger to workers. The number is 1-800-321-6742.
B. R. Brick & Masonry has 15 working days, from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal hearing with the Houston South Area Director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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