OSHA Proposes Penalties Against Construction Contractors

OSHA cited four contractors for alleged safety violations at a\r\nGrande Prairie, Texas, construction site and proposed\r\npenalties totaling $118,500.

OSHA cited four contractors for alleged safety violations at a Grande Prairie, Texas, apartment construction site and proposed penalties totaling $118,500.

The alleged violations were discovered during an unscheduled inspection conducted Sept. 22, when bricklayers and framers were working on scaffolds with no fall protection.

OSHA''s standards require that fall protection be provided for employees working on a scaffold over 10 feet in height.

"OSHA launched a regional emphasis program which targets unsafe construction work sites, particularly those with obvious violations of OSHA''s scaffold safety standards," said Dean Wingo, OSHA Fort Worth area director. "Workers at dangerous heights and at trench-digging sites have come under particular scrutiny, because those accidents are often preventable and result from the most egregious safety violations. Fatal accidents from falls alone account for 35 percent to 50 percent of deaths on the job."

Brasha Builders Inc., the general contractor, was cited with 13 serious and two willful violations of safety standards and fined $53,000 in proposed penalties.

Dodge Masonry, a masonry subcontractor, was cited with 10 serious violations and fined $15,000 in proposed penalties.

William Rhodes Construction, a building framing and siding subcontractor, was cited with nine serious and one repeat violation and fined $28,000 in proposed penalties and Raphael Rodriguez, a framing subcontractor, was cited with 11 serious safety violations and fined more than $22,000 in proposed penalties.

OSHA found that 35 workers were killed while working at north Texas construction sites in 1999.

Each of the contractors cited has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to contest or comply with them.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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