Houston Construction Company Incurs $64,500 in Fines for Failure to Protect Employees From Falls

The failure to protect employees from fall hazards while working on vertical bridge structures has resulted in $64,500 in citations and proposed penalties against Williams Brothers Construction Co. Inc. in Houston.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited the company with five alleged serious and two alleged repeat violations resulting from an investigation that began Jan. 31 at a Harlingen, Texas, construction site.

The five alleged serious violations were for failing to instruct employees on the recognition of hazards and applicable regulations; failing to protect employees from fall hazards; failing to ensure that employees are tied off when working from an aerial lift, for exceeding the load limit of the personnel basket and the boom, and failing to protect employees from overhead hazards. A serious violation is one in which the employer knew or should have know the hazards could cause death or serious physical harm to employees.

The two alleged repeat safety violations were for failing to protect employees working on vertical bridge supports approximately 30 feet high and failing to provide protection for employees against an impalement hazard from protruding reinforcing steel. A repeat violation is one in which the employer has been cited, during the past three years, for substantially similar infractions of the law.

William Brothers, a highway and bridge construction company, has construction sites across the United States and employs about 1,800 workers nationwide.

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

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