Oregon OSHA cites Woodburn company for willful safety violations
Salem, OR — The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has fined Fleetwood Homes Inc. $75,800 for five violations, including one willful violation. The citation was the result of an Aug. 29, 2014, complaint inspection at the company's Woodburn plant.
The investigation found managers at the mobile home manufacturer were aware of employee exposures to falls but did not provide protection, despite concerns brought forward to managers by employees and by Oregon OSHA. The company manufactures a mobile home model with fall exposures 13 feet from the ground. Roofers had to climb over the guardrails of scaffolding onto the roof of the mobile home with no tie-off points to connect a fall protection harness. Employees brought up the issue three times with management in 2014 before a complaint was made to Oregon OSHA.
"Year after year, falls are one of the major sources of serious injury and death in Oregon," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "There is no good reason to disregard the need to protect workers from such risks. Yet, this employer consciously ignored fall protection rules that are designed to prevent injuries or deaths."
Oregon OSHA cited the business $70,000 - the legal maximum - for the willful violation. Even after Oregon OSHA itself brought the issue to management's attention and management acknowledged the need to provide fall protection, work continued without such protection. A willful violation exists when an employer intentionally or knowingly allows a violation to occur.
The following serious violations were also found during the inspection:
- Employer allowed employees to stand on the guard rail of scaffolding
- Employer failed to provide an access ladder or other safe access to scaffolding
- Employer failed to provide hard hats in an area where there was an exposure to falling objects
- Employer failed to inspect fall protection equipment
The company has 30 days to appeal the citation.