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OSHA News Release – Region 6
U.S. Department of Labor
Region 6 News Release: USDL-OSHA-99-89-6-21
Monday, June 21, 1999
Contact: Diana Petterson or Beverly Sepulveda
PHONE : (214) 767-4776, ext. 222 or 221
OSHA PROPOSES $110,200 IN PENALTIES AGAINST THREE CONSTRUCTION CONTRACTORS AT A HURST, TEXAS CONSTRUCTION SITE
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited three contractors for 19 safety violations at the Wards Auto Center construction site in Hurst, Texas, has proposed penalties totaling $110,200, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
R.A.S. Builders, Inc., the general contractor for the site at the Northeast Mall in Hurst, was cited for $60,000 in proposed penalties. Wigley Construction Company, Inc., an exterior insulation and finish systems subcontractor, was cited for $47,700. T.L. Crow Interiors, Inc., a framing subcontractor, was cited for $2,500.
The alleged violations were discovered during an unscheduled inspection conducted on April 20, 1999, where installers and framers were working on scaffolds and a roof deck with no fall protection. OSHA's standards require that fall protection be provided for employees working on a scaffold over 10 feet in height and for employees working on the unprotected edge of a deck where a fall of 6 feet or more could occur.
OSHA's Region VI, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico and Louisiana, has developed a local emphasis program to address unsafe construction work sites, particularly those with obvious fall hazards and violations.
"There's been a significant increase in construction workplace fatalities in the Fort Worth area," said Dean Wingo, OSHA Fort Worth area director. "There were nine construction workers killed in calendar year 1997 compared to 19 construction-related deaths in calendar year 1998." Construction related falls from heights continue to be the leading cause of workplace fatalities in the Fort Worth OSHA area.
On April 19, 1999, OSHA compliance officers passing the construction site noticed installers working on scaffolds without fall protection, videotaped the activity, and made a referral for the site to be inspected. On April 20, 1999, OSHA compliance officers returned to the site and videotaped installers working on scaffolds and framers working on a roof deck without fall protection. The compliance officers then initiated an inspection under the OSHA Region VI emphasis program for fall protection in construction. The general contractor and subcontractors were informed that citations would be issued for these and numerous additional violations of OSHA scaffolding standards which had been observed during the inspection.
R.A.S. Builders was cited for 2 serious violations of safety standards, Wigley Construction was cited for 11 serious violations, and Crow Interiors was cited for1 serious violation. 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.
R.A.S. Builders was cited for 2 repeat safety violations, and Wigley Construction was cited for 3 repeat violations. A repeat violation is one in which the employer has been cited, during the past three years, for substantially similar infractions of the law.
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.
Each contractor has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the area director or to contest the citations before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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