OSHA cites construction firm for exposing workers to fall hazards
OSHA has recently cited Buford, Ga.-based Maga Construction Inc. with 12 serious violations for exposing workers to fall hazards and other safety violations at a San Antonio work site. Proposed penalties total $43,800.
"Falls are one of the most common workplace hazards that can lead to crippling injuries and ultimately can even take a worker's life," said Jeff Funke, the agency's area director in San Antonio. "The employer has a responsibility to ensure that workers are protected from preventable exposure to hazards."
OSHA' San Antonio Area Office began a safety inspection on Feb. 15 at the company's Horal Street work site as part of a regional emphasis program on construction.
Investigators found that employees were working on scaffolds at heights greater than 20 feet without safety precautions.
OSHA standards require that an effective form of fall protection, such as guardrails or personal fall arrest systems, be in use when workers perform construction activities on scaffolding 10 feet or more above the next lower level.
The violations include failing to provide guardrails or toe boards for employees working on scaffolding, ensure that scaffolds were erected on mud sills, ensure that employees had proper access to and egress from the scaffolding, ensure that scaffolds are fully planked and do not extend 18 inches beyond the end of the scaffold frames, provide training on erecting and dismantling scaffolding equipment, have scaffolding inspected by a competent person, maintain or repair damaged electrical cords, and ensure that employees had eye and head protection.
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer knew or should have known.
Detailed information on fall protection hazards and safeguards is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/index.html. Detailed information on scaffold hazards and safe work practices, including an interactive eTool, is available online at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/scaffolding/index.html.
Maga Construction has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's San Antonio Area Office or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.