OSHA is the federal agency that regulates an employee's health and safety on the job. Under their policies, it's not against the rules to set up temporary labor camps. But there are some strict guidelines these companies have to follow.
The fracking boom has brought a lot of things to South Texas over the last few years; things like more jobs, more revenue for local businesses, and more workers. In fact, the boom has brought so many workers some of these small cities can't accommodate for them.
JC Fodale Energy Service is one of the companies that have set up shop in Dilley, Texas, about 71 miles southwest of San Antonio. Their headquarters off FM 117 has more than six trailers set up to house workers.
Someone claiming to live in one of those trailers reached out to the News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooters via email. He sent us pictures of what workers were dealing with inside bedrooms. He says there are six bunks to each room and little space to store any personal items.
The same complaint was sent to OSHA, who then came out and did their own investigation. They cited JC Fodale Energy Service for not giving workers at least 50 square feet of space for their personal belongings. They also got in trouble for using triple bunks and generally overcrowding the trailers.
Late this afternoon, News 4 WOAI Trouble Shooter Mireya Villarreal spoke with the owner of the company, Jerry Fodale. He says employee safety is one of his main priorities. But he doesn't dispute the findings of the OSHA report.
“The company has taken corrective action to improve the living quarters, including purchasing new trailers and new bunks,” Fodale said.
They've also agreed to pay a $3,000 fine.
JC Fodale Energy Services Statement
"JC Fodale provides temporary housing facilities for our workers for their convenience. No worker is required to stay at these facilities. Cleaning services and meals are provided regularly and Jerry Fodale himself spends his time in the housing when on site in Dilley.
The company became aware of the complaint from OSHA and immediately addressed the specific concerns related to the square feet per person.
JC Fodale employs 700 people throughout the U.S. and never once has Jerry Fodale received an employee complaint related to temporary housing. He is always open to hearing and addressing employees’ concerns. JC Fodale employs 300 people in Dilley."
Gregory E. Burcz, Esq,
Chief Financial Officer & Counsel
CPA, MBA, MST
JC Fodale Energy Services, LLC