NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas — The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited BMC Building Materials and Construction Services Inc. with seven serious violations for exposing workers to electrical and machine guarding hazards at the company's work site in New Braunfels. Proposed penalties total $41,000.
OSHA began its safety inspection on Oct. 3 at the company's facility on FM 482 where workers were building prefabricated wood trusses without the required machine guarding. The inspection was conducted in response to a complaint about unsafe working conditions and machine hazards.
"The lack of machine guarding can lead to serious injuries, including amputations," said Casey Perkins, OSHA's area director in Austin. "OSHA's standards must be followed to prevent accidents, injuries and illnesses."
The serious violations include failing to provide machine guarding while operating saws, ensure that rotating shafts on machines are covered, ensure that electrical wiring is protected and ensure electrical cords are maintained in safe condition. 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 hazards associated with unprotected machinery, saw blades, rotating shafts and pulleys can be controlled. Information on machine guarding and amputation hazards is available at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/machineguarding/index.html.
BMC has 15 business days from receipt of citations to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA's area director in Austin, or contest the citations and penalties before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
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 Austin office at 512-374-0271.
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. For more information, visit http://www.osha.gov.