Penalties in Dallas Fatality Top $400,000

OSHA has issued $407,400 in proposed fines along with eight egregious willful and four serious violations to Design Plastering Inc. and Design Plastering West LLC of Phoenix, Ariz.

A May 2015 construction worker's death in Dallas has prompted OSHA to issue $407,400 in proposed fines along with eight egregious willful and four serious violations to Design Plastering Inc. and Design Plastering West LLC of Phoenix, Ariz., according to the agency's Nov. 10 announcement. Jorge Carrion Torres, 44, fell from a third-story balcony as he worked on the exterior of an apartment complex on May 14. "Torres, who had been on the job for one month, was applying stucco underlayment to the balcony walls when the incident occurred. His employer had not installed scaffolding and had not provided Torres or his co-workers with personal fall protection," according to OSHA's announcement.

It says Arizona OSHA previously cited Design Plastering seven times for allowing fall-related hazards.

"When an employer fails to put up a guardrail or scaffolding or doesn't provide personal fall-arrest systems, anyone working at a height of six feet or more is defenseless against a fall. OSHA will not tolerate this kind of employer behavior," said Assistant Secretary Dr. David Michaels. "This senseless loss of a man's life is the result of this employer's failure to comply with clear OSHA safety requirements despite the fact that it had been previously cited for the same violations. Design Plastering has been cited for $5,850 in the past for fall hazard-related violations. Clearly, these penalties were not sufficient to deter this employer's unlawful actions."

The companies are plaster and stucco contractors with about 90 workers. They have 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director, or contest the findings before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

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