OSHA Tries to Cement Fall Hazard Charges Against Tuckpointing Firm

An inspection earlier this year resulted in the St. Louis company receiving five repeat citations, mainly for problems involving its use of scaffolds, plus two other serious allegations.

OSHA has cited Clint Horn, doing business in St. Louis as Sturgis Tuckpointing, with alleged safety violations for repeatedly exposing workers to fall hazards while working on scaffolding structures. Proposed penalties total $221,600.

"Falls remain the number one killer of workers in the construction industry," said Charles E. Adkins, OSHA's regional administrator in Kansas City, Mo. "OSHA will not tolerate employers who repeatedly fail to provide and ensure the use of fall protection, continuing to place their workers' lives at needless risk."

OSHA's inspection, which began in February 2010, resulted in Sturgis receiving two alleged serious and five alleged repeat citations. The serious violations address hazards associated with the misuse of portable ladders. OSHA issues a serious citation when death or serious physical harm is likely to result from a hazard that an employer knew or should have known about.

The repeat violations address hazards associated with a lack of worksite inspections, no protection from overhead hazards, unsafe scaffold access, lack of fall protection on a scaffold, and a lack of or deficient scaffold training. OSHA issues repeat violations when an employer previously was cited for the same or a similar violation of any standard, regulation, rule, or order at any other facilities in federal enforcement states within the last three years.

Sturgis has 15 business days from receipt of the citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in St. Louis, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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