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Oregon OSHA cites construction company $52,500 for repeated safety violations

Fall protection is a crucial component of job site safety, as evidenced by the story below:

(Salem) – The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined a construction company $52,500 for repeatedly not protecting its employees from falls. The fine was the result of an inspection based on four serious repeat violations.
The company has been cited a total of six times since December 2012 for a lack of fall protection. Additionally, Oregon OSHA fined the company $1,350 on Aug. 27, 2013, for exposing workers to lead and asbestos at a Portland construction site.
Employers must protect employees from falls when working at heights of 10 feet or more, according to Oregon administrative rules. The typical penalty for a first-time violation ranges from $400 to $1,000 for a small employer and increases with each repeat violation.
“Falls are among the leading causes of serious injuries and fatalities in construction and have been for many years,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. “There is no reason for a company to continually disregard the simple safety measures that can keep its workers safe.”
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, cited 218 fall violations in 2012 throughout the state. Since 2000, the agency has placed an emphasis on fall hazard inspections in construction.
In addition to the 10-foot rule, employees working at six feet or above a lower level also need to be protected from falls near open windows, doors, mezzanines, balconies, or walkways. There are different ways to comply with Oregon OSHA’s fall protection rule, such as using guardrails, catch platforms, and personal fall arrest systems.
More details can be found on Oregon OSHA’s website at http://orosha.org/subjects/fall_protection.html. Federal OSHA also has training tools and posters available to help raise awareness around falls: http://www.osha.gov/stopfalls/index.html.
About the author: Noal Kraft
Noal is the Vice President of Operations at DKI/G2 Consultants Inc. With over 27 years of professional experience in the Industrial Hygiene and Health and Safety industry. He has worked on thousands of projects throughout the U.S.