SALEM, Ore. — Oregon OSHA has fined a general contractor in Roseburg more than $38,000 for multiple serious job safety violations, including repeatedly failing to follow the minimum requirements to protect workers from fall hazards that could kill them.
According to a release, the OSHA division cited Mid Oregon Builders LLC following an inspection prompted by a confidential complaint. The inspection included an examination of work activity at residential construction sites in Sutherlin, Winston, and Roseburg; interviews of employees and a supervisor; and a review of the company's recordkeeping practices.
In one violation, the company failed to follow requirements to implement adequate fall protection systems — such as personal fall arrest or guardrail systems — where workers are exposed to falling 6 feet or more to a lower level. One example involved roofing work at a jobsite in Sutherlin, where the company left employees in danger of potentially falling at least 13 feet.
The failure to comply with Oregon OSHA's 6-foot trigger-height requirements was a repeat violation by Mid Oregon Builders. It was the fourth such violation committed by the company since October 2018.
Under Oregon OSHA's rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses. In this case, the division cited Mid Oregon Builders $36,000 for not ensuring employees are protected from falling when working 6 feet or more above a lower level.
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.
“Our fall protection requirements are designed to prevent serious injury or death, and they have proven effective at protecting workers," said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “Repeatedly failing to take them seriously demonstrates a lack of responsibility and serves only one purpose — to further put lives at risk."
The citation against Mid Oregon Builders proposes a total fine of $38,390. In addition to the repeat violation, the citation includes the following four serious violations:
- Not ensuring employees were trained by a competent person qualified in the use and operation of fall protection systems, such as guardrail systems and personal fall arrest systems. Proposed penalty: $490.
- Not taking all reasonable steps to provide adequate fall protection and to ensure employees used protective systems while working on elevated surfaces so they could safely accomplish their work. Proposed penalty: $1,400.
- The employer did not provide copies of injury and illness records for 2019 in a timely manner. Proposed penalty: $150.
- The employer did not enter each recordable injury or illness on the proper documents in a timely manner for 2018 and 2019. Proposed penalty: $350.