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Portland-area roofing contractor fined for exposing workers to fall hazards

For immediate release
Nov. 12, 2019
Contact information
Aaron Corvin, Public Information Officer
971-718-6973, aaron.corvin@oregon.gov​​
Salem, OR — Oregon OSHA has fined West Coast Roofing and Painting Inc. more than $12,000 for violating job safety rules, including exposing employees to falls that could seriously injure or kill them. 

This is not the first time Oregon OSHA has cited the Portland-area contractor for neglecting to follow fall protection requirements.

The latest citation stems from an inspection of a job site at a house in Portland, where employees of the company were tearing off an existing roof and preparing to install a new one. The inspection found four employees were exposed to falls of about 11 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 case of West Coast Roofing and Painting, 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, the company has now failed to heed that requirement three times since 2018. Two of those violations – including the latest one – were repeat offenses committed by the company within a month of each other this year.  

“There is never a good reason to ignore the need to protect workers from fall hazards, much less to repeatedly overlook rules that are designed to prevent serious injury or death,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. 

The inspection that led to the current citation also found other repeat violations on the part of West Coast Roofing and Painting. Those are:

  • Failure to protect an employee from the potential hazard of stepping or falling into an unprotected skylight on the second story of the house
  • Failure to provide a record certifying that employees were trained in fall-protection systems 

Under Oregon OSHA rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses. The citation against West Coast Roofing and Painting carries a total proposed penalty of $12,440. The fine amount includes a standard penalty reduction based on the small size of the company, which employed about 16 people at the time of Oregon OSHA’s inspection. 

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

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

Take online fall protection training by visiting Oregon OSHA’s Fall Protection Suite, which includes Fall Protection for Roofing.

Visit the agency’s A-to-Z topic page about fall protection, which includes guides, fact sheets, and other resources.

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About Oregon OSHA:

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, go to 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.oregon.gov/dcbs/.

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