2011 must be starting to feel a lot like 2009 forBest Plastering Contractorsof El Paso, Texas. The company is on the receiving end of five repeat OSHA citations for exposing workers to fall hazards -- the same hazards that got it issued four willful and three serious citations two years ago. Proposed penalties this time around total $99,000, according to OSHA.
"Falls are one of the most common and well-known hazards at a construction site. This is not the first time this company has jeopardized the safety of its workers," said Jack Rector, OSHA's area director in El Paso. "Falls can injure or kill a worker within seconds. It is fortunate in this case that there were no injuries or fatalities."
The agency's El Paso Area Office initiated this inspection on Oct. 19, 2010, when employees were observed working on a scaffold without the use of fall protection equipment at a worksite on Carole Jeschke Court in El Paso.
Violations include failing to provide base plates and mud sills to prevent scaffolds from becoming unstable, a ladder for safe access to all working levels of the scaffold, training for employees who perform scaffolding work, and fall protection systems such as guardrails and/or personal fall arrest systems such as harnesses to employees working from a scaffold. A repeat citation is issued 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.
OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails, safety nets or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers perform residential construction activities 6 feet or more above the next lower level.
Best Plastering employs about 18 workers at its El Paso facility and eight of them were at the Jeschke worksite.