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Contractor cited by OSHA after worker falls to death

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A Texas framing contractor is facing more than $80,000 in penalties after a worker fell 35 feet to his death in July.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited San Antonio-based Longhorn Contractors after an inspection found the company failed to provide appropriate fall protection equipment and training, which led to the death of Gabriel Palacios, the agency said Tuesday in a statement.

The agency cited Longhorn for three serious, two repeat and one other violation found at an apartment complex site in Kyle, Texas. The violations included failing to perform inspections and provide prompt medical attention and proper fall protection, not enforcing the use of fall protection or providing fall protection training, and failing to report the fatality within eight hours, according to OSHA.

“Gabriel Palacios’ tragic death occurred because Longhorn Contractors neglected to do the right thing and continued to expose workers to falls, which ultimately took the life of a 20-year employee,” Casey Perkins, OSHA’s area director in Austin, Texas, said in a statement.

In a second investigation, an OSHA inspector observed a fall hazard at a construction work site in Live Oak, Texas, and cited the company for three repeat and one serious violation.

“Longhorn Contractors has failed to address safety hazards from seven previous OSHA citations dating back to 2008,” Alejandro Porter, OSHA’s area director in San Antonio, said in the statement. “The company continues to expose workers to preventable hazards. OSHA will stay vigilant to ensure the employer adheres to necessary safety requirements to protect personnel.”

The company could not be immediately reached for comment.