OSHA Cites Burgos Construction Corp. for Fall Protection Violations at Four Worksites

Florida contractor faces $229,000 in penalties for four willful, one repeat and two serious fall-protection safety violations

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Burgos Construction Corp. for four willful, one repeat and two serious safety violations after OSHA inspectors observed employees performing residential construction without using a fall protection system at four work sites in Lithia, Tampa, Riverview and Land O' Lakes. The company was hired to build a new apartment complex in Tampa and work on three new residences. The inspections began in January 2014 as part of the agency's Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. Proposed penalties total $228,690.

"Burgos Construction has been cited seven times in the past two years for not providing fall protection for its employees engaged in residential construction. Company officials are fully aware of the fall protection requirements," said Les Grove, OSHA's area director in Tampa.

The willful violations were cited because the employer failed to provide fall protection systems to workers at each of the four job sites where they installed floor joists and conducted framing and roofing work at heights ranging from 9 to 28 feet. OSHA requires a fall protection system when residential activities are 6 feet or greater. The willful violations carry penalties of $215,600. 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.

With a $6,160 penalty, the repeat violation was cited for allowing workers to use a ladder improperly. 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 facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. Burgos Construction was cited for these same violations in May 2013.

The employer was cited for serious violations, with $6,930 in penalties, for failing to provide fall protection training for workers and for allowing employees to access a second floor stairwell that was not protected by handrails on both sides. 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. The current citations can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/ooc/citations/BurgosConstructionCorp_953992_0630_14.pdf

Burgos Construction was established in 2012 and has been inspected by OSHA eight times within the past two years. The company has received multiple citations for repeat and serious violations of the construction standards.

OSHA has created a fall prevention Web page at http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls with detailed information in English and Spanish on fall protection standards. The page offers fact sheets, posters and videos that vividly illustrate various fall hazards and appropriate preventive measures.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, fatal work injuries in Florida accounted for 218 of the 4,628 fatal work injuries reported in 2012. Additional details are available at http://bls.gov/iif/home.htm.

Burgos Construction specializes in wood framing and other carpentry in residential structures, such as installing and erecting walls, floor joists, roof trusses and roof sheathing. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to comply, request a conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission.