The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Canby, Ore., contractor JMJ Construction LLC $105,800 for violating job safety rules, including repeatedly failing to protect workers from fall hazards that could seriously injure or kill them.
According to a statement from Oregon OSHA, the inspection of JMJ Construction focused on a Hillsboro jobsite where roofing work was being done on a commercial building. Oregon OSHA's inspection identified three violations, one of which involved allowing three employees to work at heights without any type of fall protection system. The three employees were exposed 18-foot fall hazards, according to the inspection. JMJ Construction was working as a subcontractor at the jobsite.
The citation against the company resulted from an inspection conducted under Oregon OSHA's emphasis program on fall hazards in construction. The prevention-based program includes direction to inspectors to act based on observations while in the field.
This is the fourth time since February 2020 that the company violated rules regarding fall protection systems at jobsites when employees are exposed to a hazard of falling 6 feet or more to a lower level. Because of the repeat offenses, the penalty for the violation multiplied, with Oregon OSHA imposing a penalty of $97,500 for violating the rule.
The stiff penalties reflect the seriousness of the violations, as falls are one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry.
“There is simply no good reason to assign employees to work at heights without adequate protective systems," said Renee Stapleton, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “Employees have a right to work safely. Employers who repeatedly fail to make that right a reality are only increasing the risk of serious injuries and lost lives."
Altogether, Oregon OSHA's citation against JMJ Construction consisted of the following violations:
- The company did not ensure three employees, positioned on a walking and working surface, were protected – regardless of height – from tripping or stepping through unprotected skylights. Penalty: $8,100.
- The company failed to implement fall protection systems for three employees who were exposed to hazards of falling 6 feet or more to a lower level. It was fourth repeat violation. Penalty: $97,500.
- The company did not prepare a written certification verifying fall protection training for employees. It was a repeat violation. Penalty: $200
The total penalty issued against JMJ Construction included a standard penalty reduction based on the small size of the company.
Employers have 30 calendar days after receiving a citation to file an appeal. JMJ Construction has filed an appeal.