SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued fines totaling more than $144,000 to two contractors for violations — including repeat offenses — of fall protection rules at worksites in Salem and Woodburn.
The separate citations issued to Corvallis-based Iron Head Roofing LLC and Canby-based JMJ Construction LLC included the same violation of a basic safety requirement: Implementing adequate fall protection systems, such as a personal fall restraint system or other measures, where workers are exposed to falling six feet or more to a lower level.
Iron Head Roofing
The citation issued to Iron Head Roofing followed an inspection that found four of six employees working on the roof of a house in Salem with no fall protection. Fall protection systems were not in place where employees were exposed to a hazard of falling six feet or more to a lower level. It was a fifth repeat violation of the rule. The proposed penalty from Oregon OSHA is $78,000. For Iron Head Roofing, it was the fifth time since May 2019 that the company committed the same violation.
The division's citation to Iron Head Roofing involved a single repeat violation carrying a total proposed penalty of $78,000.
The citation against JMJ Construction came after an inspection found an employee installing siding on a house with no fall protection. Another employee was using a scaffold with no fall protection, according to the inspection. Fall protection systems were not in place where employees were exposed to a hazard of falling six feet or more to a lower level. It was a fourth repeat violation of the rule. Proposed penalty: $58,500.
In addition, a portable ladder did not extend at least three feet above an upper landing. It was the first repeat violation of the rule. Oregon OSHA proposed a penalty of $4,500. The agency also found no personal fall arrest systems or guardrail systems were put in place while a scaffold was in use. The proposed penalty is $3,900.
For JMJ Construction, it was the fourth time since February 2020 that the company committed the same violation. The companies' previous violations of the six-foot trigger-height requirements were cited as part of separate Oregon OSHA inspections at different worksites. The citation to JMJ Construction, which involved several violations, carried a total proposed penalty of $66,900.
Altogether, Oregon OSHA issued $144,900 in fines to both companies. Under Oregon OSHA rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat violations. Each of the citations issued to Iron Head Roofing and JMJ Construction also included a standard penalty reduction based on the small size of the company.
Both inspections were conducted under Oregon OSHA's emphasis program focused on fall hazards in construction. The prevention-based program accounts for the temporary nature of construction activity by directing inspectors to act based on observations while in the field, and to follow up on valid complaints and referrals.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry.
“Fall protection saves lives," said Renee Stapleton, acting administrator for Oregon OSHA. “It is an essential safety practice that employers must carry out when work is being done at heights. There is no excuse for neglecting it."
Employers have 30 calendar days after receiving a citation to file an appeal.