Roma Construction Inc., a stucco plastering subcontractor of Monticello Homes, is being cited for five repeat and seven serious violations by OSHA. The Texas company exposed workers to falls hazards of up to 20 feet as a result of improper scaffolding at the Hastings Ridge at Kinder Ranch residential development. The proposed penalty is $79,200.
OSHA's San Antonio Area Office conducted a safety inspection as part of the agency's regional emphasis program on reducing injuries and fatalities at construction sites*. Investigators found employees applying exterior stucco from a scaffold with little planking or platforms to work from and no railing to protect the workers from a fall. Scaffolding violations are one of the 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards.
"These hazards are absolutely preventable if the appropriate fall protection measures are in place. A fall can rob a worker of their livelihood or, worse, their life," said Kelly C. Knighton, OSHA's area director in San Antonio. "Roma Construction has a history of repeatedly failing to provide safe scaffolds and train its workers on fall hazards. Their disregard for worker safety is unacceptable."
The five repeat violations, with a penalty of $58,520, were cited for failure to: provide guardrails, ensure scaffold platforms and walkways were at least 18 inches wide, provide proper access and egress, and train employees on properly erecting and dismantling scaffolding equipment. A repeat violation exists 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. Similar violations were previously cited in 2009 and 2011 at other San Antonio work sites.
With a penalty of $20,680, the seven serious violations were cited for: failure to ensure makeshift devices were not used on the scaffold platforms to extend the working level height; failure to provide cross bracing and ensure that scaffolds were erected, moved or altered by trained workers under an experienced supervisor; and failure to develop, implement and maintain a hazard communication plan.
Roma Construction, which employed approximately 10 workers at this construction site, has 15 business days from receipt of the 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 & Health Review Commission.