Texas-Based Company Fined for Reported Safety Hazards at Construction Site

September 28, 2005

A DeSoto, Texas-based construction company’s alleged failure to protect employees from falls and other hazardous conditions at a Dallas construction site has resulted in proposed penalties of $127,500 from the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA cited J&R Landmark Construction Corp., a brick-laying company employing about 36 workers, for three alleged willful and one alleged serious violation following an inspection by OSHA’s Dallas area office that began March 3 at the company’s worksite on Shady Brook Lane. At the time of the inspection, about 19 workers were applying brick veneer to the exterior of a newly-constructed apartment building.

“This employer has a history of repeat violations that expose workers to unsafe working conditions” said Kathryn Delaney, OSHA area director in Dallas. “Employers must follow OSHA safety and health regulations in order to prevent injuries.”

The willful violations for which OSHA cited the company were failing to fully plank scaffold work platforms, failing to provide safe access to the scaffolding and failing to protect employees from falls from scaffolding greater than 10 feet in height. A willful violation is defined as an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

The serious violation involved improperly mixing various scaffolding components that could cause a scaffold to overturn and not providing the necessary scaffold bracing to prevent falls. 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.

Other companies owned by J&R Landmark’s owner, Ramiro Rodriguez, have been inspected by OSHA seven times for similar violations since 1998, resulting in fines totaling $305,750.

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Dallas area director or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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