OSHA Enforcement Increased at Texas Construction Sites

Recent statistics show the Dallas-Fort Worth area leads the state\r\nof Texas in the number of construction-related fatalities.

Recent statistics show the Dallas-Fort Worth area leads the state of Texas in the number of construction-related fatalities.

In 1999, there were 69 worker fatalities in the construction trades, 31 occurring in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Throughout the metroplex, construction safety violations are often ignored in a building boom.

In response, OSHA officials in North Texas have beefed up continued enforcement in an effort to reverse the trend.

"When investigators find those construction contractors and subcontractors who are not following the law, citations and penalties will be assessed for unsafe working conditions," said OSHA Fort Worth Area Director Dean Wingo.

OSHA officials are rededicating resources and increasing the number of inspectors to actively patrol construction sites for obvious unsafe conditions.

A recent example includes a total of $35,950 in citations issued to a general contractor and two subcontractors working at a restaurant construction site in Grapevine, Texas.

Investigator found an unsafe scaffold being used for the masonry work. OSHA''s standards require that fall protection be provided for employees working on a scaffold over 10 feet high.

"These types of violations are just a small example of the kinds of unsafe conditions that could lead to injuries and that OSHA will continue to investigate," said Wingo.

Additionally, OSHA is working with area construction firms to provide training. There have been free safety seminars held to discuss OSHA compliance and OSHA will continue to offer a free 10-hour OSHA construction safety course in both English and Spanish.

For more information, contact the Fort Worth OSHA office at (817) 428-2470.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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