OSHA Cites Contractor For Exposing Workers To Falls


Atlanta, GA (WorkersCompensation.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Norcross-based construction company LRG Framing Inc. for six safety violations at a residential work site in Cumming. OSHA received a referral, and an inspector observed employees working at heights of up to 30 feet without fall protection, among other hazards. Proposed penalties total $66,660.

LRG Framing is being cited with one willful violation, with a $46,200 penalty, for allowing employees to work without fall protection. The same violation has been cited at the company's construction sites three times since 2006, including in connection with a construction site fatality in East Point in 2007. After the 2007 fatality, the employer attended an OSHA 10-hour safety training course; and after each inspection, the employer entered into an informal settlement agreement with OSHA requiring compliance with all OSHA standards. A willful violation is one committed with intentional knowing or voluntary disregard for the law's requirements, or with plain indifference to worker safety and health.

One repeat violation, with a $9,240 penalty, is being cited for failing to provide employees with fall protection training. The same violation was cited in 2007. A repeat violation exists when an employer previously was 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.

Four serious violations, with $11,220 in penalties, include failing to ensure that workers use head protection such as hard hats when exposed to overhead hazards, and remove from use a damaged electrical cord and a powered saw with a deficient guard. The company also lacked a training program to teach employees how to avoid electrical, "struck-by" and fall hazards. 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.

"Falls are the leading cause of death for workers in residential construction. OSHA is committed to educating employers on how to identify hazards and prevent injuries, but they must take responsibility for ensuring that workers have and wear proper equipment at all times," said William Fulcher, director of OSHA's Atlanta-East Area Office.

The company has 15 business days from receipt of its latest citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Information on fall protection is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/fallprotection/construction.html. To ask questions, obtain compliance assistance, file a complaint, or report workplace hospitalizations, fatalities or situations posing imminent danger to workers, the public should call OSHA's toll-free hotline at 800-321-OSHA (6742) or the agency's Atlanta-East office at 770-493-6644.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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