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Fatal Fall Prompts Fines

OSHA has issued citations to Cotton Construction Inc. of Waller, Texas, and proposed penalties totaling $70,800 for safety violations following the investigation of a fatality last January in Houston.

OSHA began its investigation Jan. 7 after a worker fell 25 feet to his death while working on a partially decked rooftop at a worksite. Cotton Construction, which employs about 12 workers, was cited for three alleged willful and four alleged serious violations.

The alleged willful violations include:

  • Failing to ensure horizontal lifelines were designed, installed and used under the supervision of a qualified person;
  • Inadequate personal fall arrest systems; and
  • Failing to provide training for erecting, maintaining, disassembling and inspecting the fall protection systems.

Among the alleged serious violations were failing to:

  • Assure anchorages used for attachments of personal fall arrest systems were capable of supporting at least 5,000 pounds;
  • Inspect personal fall arrest systems prior to use for wear, damage and other deterioration or defective components;
  • Assure that training required by the OSHA steel erection standard was conducted by a competent person; and
  • Train employees on the proper use of ladders.
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