Lack of Fall Protection Leads to $48K Fine for Texas Company

June 20, 2012

Federal regulators have fined a Texas company for failing to provide fall protection at a Dripping Springs work site. Proposed penalties total $48,180.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Jr Stucco for five serious and two repeat safety violations at a site where workers were erecting a concrete block wall on scaffolding without required fall protection equipment. OSHA opened an inspection in March as part of the agency’s regional emphasis program on falls.

The serious violations include failing to train workers on how to control scaffold hazards, place protective caps on re-enforcing bars protruding from the foundation, brace the freestanding concrete block walls against collapse and establish a limited access zone near the concrete block walls.

A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.

The repeat violations include failing to fully plank the working platform of a scaffold and erect protective guardrails on scaffolding where employees are working at heights of 10 feet or more.

A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Similar violations were cited in April and December 2009.

Jr Stucco, headquartered in Tomball, has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director in Austin, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

In 2010, more than 10,000 construction workers were injured as a result of falling while working from heights, and more than 250 workers were killed.

Source: OSHA

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