Oregon Contractor Facing Stiff Penalties for Repeated Job Safety Violations
SALEM, Ore. — When it comes to protecting workers from the dangers of construction sites — including fall hazards that can lead to serious injury or death — Colima Construction continues to face serious challenges.
According to a release from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Colima Construction is facing nearly $235,000 in penalties for violating multiple job safety rules repeatedly at jobsites in Bend, Aumsville and Tigard.
The citations are the latest against Colima, which has a record of overlooking worksite safety requirements, including breaking fall protection rules addressing similar hazards at least six times since 2017. These repeated violations prompted Oregon OSHA to once again exercise its discretionary authority to steeply increase penalties.
“It is inexcusable to ignore practical safety standards that have, time and again, proven effective at protecting workers from on-the-job hazards,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. “Yet, this employer continues to disregard the need to effectively address those rules, sidestepping its responsibilities and putting lives at needless risk.”
The fines totaling $234,850 stem from three citations the division issued against the company in March and April 2020. The citations resulted from three separate inspections.
The Oregon OSHA issued its latest citation to the company on April 23 for the company exposing employees to potential falls of 11 feet without any fall protection measures, a repeat violation for Colima Construction. The citation also penalized the company or improper guardrail usage and exposing employees to potential tripping or stepping into a hole created by an unprotected stairwell.
For the citation issued April 15, an inspection of roofing work on an under-construction house in Aumsville discovered the company exposed at least one worker to a potential 12-foot fall by failing to provide fall protection. It was another repeat violation of the 6-foot trigger-height rules.
The citation issued April 20 was triggered by an inspection centered on a multi-story building project in Tigard. It found the company failed to ensure that the personal fall arrest system being used by a worker — who was standing about 8 feet high on elevated joists and the top of framed walls — was correctly rigged to prevent him from falling more than 6 feet and hitting a lower level.
They follow two citations — totaling more than $120,000 — that Oregon OSHA issued against the company in September 2019. Those citations were for the company’s failure to meet fall protection requirements at jobsites at a residential development in Eugene.
Colima has filed appeals of citations issued on April 15 and March 20. The company also appealed the two citations issued in September 2019.