Worker's Electrocution Leads to $112,000 Fine for Houston Contractor

OSHA has cited O.S. Interior Systems Inc., a specialty contractor, for alleged workplace safety violations following a fatality at the company's worksite in Houston. Proposed penalties total $112,000.

OSHA's Houston North Area Office began its inspection on Aug. 14 when an employee who was removing a demountable wall made contact with a live wire and died. The company was cited for two alleged willful violations for failing to adequately protect employees from energized electrical circuits and failing to inform employees about the hazards involved with energized electrical circuits. OSHA defines a willful violation as one committed with intentional disregard of, or plain indifference to, the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

"This employer failed to advise its employees on the locations of electrical lines," said Dean McDaniel, OSHA's regional administrator in Dallas. "If the company had followed OSHA's standards, it is possible this tragic accident could have been avoided."

The company has 15 working days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with the Houston North Area Director, or to contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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