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Portland-area contractor fined $120K for safety volations

In two related enforcement actions, Oregon OSHA said Friday it has fined Portland-area contractor Colima Construction LLC more than $120,000 for violating job safety rules, including repeatedly failing to protect workers from potentially falling to their death.

The citations are the result of two inspections of job sites at a new housing development in Eugene, where employees of the Canby-based construction company were doing roofing and framing work.

At both job sites, employees were exposed to falls greater than nine feet with no fall protection systems in place.

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Oregon OSHA maintains rules for construction activities that specify the minimum height at which workers must be protected from falling. In the cases involving Colima Construction, the company failed to implement fall protection systems – such as a personal fall restraint system or other measures – where employees were exposed to falling six feet or more to a lower level.

In fact, those failings marked the third time the company has broken the same fall-protection requirement since 2018. Under Oregon OSHA rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat violations. As a result, the agency fined Colima Construction $60,000 for each fall-protection offense, for a total of $120,000.

“It is inexcusable to ignore fall protection rules that are specifically designed to prevent serious injury or death,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. “To ignore such rules repeatedly is to display a glaring lack of regard for worker safety.”

Yet, fall protection wasn’t the only safety practice neglected – again – by Colima Construction during the work in Eugene. Oregon OSHA’s inspections – which resulted in a total of $121,200 in penalties – also found:

The company exposed workers to fall hazards by allowing them to use the top and top steps of eight- and six-foot stepladders for access while inside the frame of one of the under-construction houses. This was a repeat violation carrying a $600 penalty.
The company exposed a worker to the potential for serious eye injuries by failing to ensure the use of appropriate eye protection. The employee was operating a pneumatic nail gun with no such protection. This was a repeat violation carrying a $600 penalty.

In addition to its enforcement activities, Oregon OSHA offers employers resources to help improve workplace safety and health.

The agency’s technical staff members can answer questions about rules and how to apply them:

Phone: 503-378-3272

Toll-free in Oregon: 800-922-2689

Email: tech.web@oregon.gov

Online contact form: https://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/Contact-Technical.aspx

Contact Oregon OSHA’s no-cost consultation services for help with safety and health programs:

Phone: 503-378-3272

Toll-free in Oregon: 800-922-2689

Field office locations and phone numbers: https://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/maps.aspx

Email: consult.web@oregon.gov

Visit Oregon OSHA’s A-to-Z topic page about fall protection: https://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/topics/fall-protection.aspx

Take the agency’s Fundamentals of Fall Protection online video training: https://osha.oregon.gov/edu/courses/Pages/fall-protection-online-course.aspx

Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

KTVZ 2019

News / Oregon-Northwest / Top Stories

KTVZ News Team

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