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Workers Exposed to 60-foot Falls
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Olshan Demolishing Co., Inc. in New Braunfels, Texas, with safety violations for allegedly exposing employees to fall hazards and issued citations with proposed penalties of $101,000, announced the U.S. Department of Labor.
Olshan, which employs about 400 workers nationwide, had 10 people demolishing an old power plant at 144 Landa St. in New Braunfels.
The citations resulted from an OSHA inspection which began Oct. 16, 1998 following the death of an employee who fell 60 feet through the open floors of the old power plant. "The deceased was not wearing a lifeline," said Paul Brantley, OSHA Austin area director. "The employer did not provide appropriate lifeline protection so that employees could tie-off to a secure anchorage as they moved about to gut this building."
OSHA cited the company with one willful, four serious and three other-than-serious violations.
The one willful violation is for exposing workers to the hazard of falling more than 60 feet through open floor holes and floor openings that were not covered or otherwise protected by appropriate fall protection. A willful violation exists under the OSHA Act where evidence shows either an intentional violation of the Act or plain indifference to its requirements.
The four serious violations include not providing frequent and regular inspections of job sites by a competent person; personal protective equipment was not of safe design and lifelines used by personnel were not approved for that use. 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 other-than-serious violations dealt with improper grounding of electrical equipment, covering of live electrical parts and damaged electrical cords. An other-than-serious violation is a hazardous condition that would probably not cause death or serious physical harm, but would have a direct and immediate relationship to the safety and/or health of employees.
Olshan has 15 working days, from receipt of the citations, to comply, request an informal conference with the area director to discuss the citations and any concerns they may have or contest the citations and proposed penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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