Portland-Area Roofing Contract Fined for Repeated Fall Hazard Exposure
SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined West Coast Roofing and Painting Inc. more than $12,000 for violating job safety rules, including exposing employees to falls that could lead to serious injuries or death.
This is not the first time Oregon OSHA has cited the Portland-area contractor for neglecting to follow fall protection requirements.
According to the Oregon OSHA, the latest citation stems from an inspection of a job site at a house in Portland, where employees of the company were tearing off an existing roof and preparing to install a new one. The inspection found four employees were exposed to falls of about 11 feet with no fall protection systems in place.
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Oregon OSHA maintains rules for construction activities that specify the minimum height at which workers must be protected from falling. In the case of West Coast Roofing and Painting, the company failed to implement fall protection systems — such as a personal fall restraint system or other measures — where employees were exposed to falling six feet or more to a lower level.
The company has now failed to heed that requirement three times since 2018. Two of those violations — including the latest one — were repeat offenses committed by the company within a month of each other this year.
“There is never a good reason to ignore the need to protect workers from fall hazards, much less to repeatedly overlook rules that are designed to prevent serious injury or death,” said Oregon OSHA administrator Michael Wood.
The inspection that led to the current citation also found other repeat violations on the part of West Coast Roofing and Painting. Those are:
- Failure to protect an employee from the potential hazard of stepping or falling into an unprotected skylight on the second story of the house
- Failure to provide a record certifying that employees were trained in fall-protection systems
Under Oregon OSHA rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses. The citation against West Coast Roofing and Painting carries a total proposed penalty of $12,440. The fine amount includes a standard penalty reduction based on the small size of the company, which employed about 16 people at the time of Oregon OSHA’s inspection.