Salem, OR — Oregon OSHA has fined a Seaside-based contractor more than $15,000 for violating job safety standards during a residential roofing project. All three violations were repeat offenses, including one that exposed workers to potential falls that could seriously injure or kill them.
The citation against Synergy Construction Group Inc. stems from an inspection the division launched in response to a complaint about a lack of fall protection for employees at a multi-story house in Seaside.
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.
Oregon OSHA’s inspection found two employees working on the roof with no protection against potential falls to the ground of up to 22 feet. It was a violation of a basic fall protection rule requiring employers to implement protective systems – such as a personal fall restraint system – when employees are exposed to a hazard of falling six feet or more to a lower level.
In fact, it was the fourth time Synergy Construction Group has violated the standard since February 2020.
“Repeatedly violating workplace safety standards – standards that are proven to protect workers against fall hazards – serves only one purpose: to increase the risk to employees of serious harm or death,” said Julie Love, interim administrator for Oregon OSHA. “And there is absolutely no excuse for it.”
Altogether, Oregon OSHA cited Synergy Construction Group for the following violations and proposed penalties totaling $15,850:
- Failure to provide fall protection systems where workers were exposed to a hazard of falling six feet or more to a lower level. It was a repeat violation.
Total proposed penalty: $15,000
- Failure to provide documentation of fall protection training for the employees doing the roofing job. It was a repeat violation.
Total proposed penalty: $500
- Failure to document, make available, and maintain for three years a written record of safety meetings addressing such issues as hazards related to tools, equipment, the work environment, and unsafe work practices. It was a repeat violation.
Total proposed penalty: $350
Under Oregon OSHA’s rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses. The citation issued against Synergy Construction Group 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. Synergy Construction Group has appealed its citation.
In addition to its enforcement activities, Oregon OSHA offers employers free resources to help improve workplace safety and health. These resources include the division’s Fall Protection Suite of online video training and its A-to-Z topic page about fall protection.
The Fall Protection Suite includes courses addressing fall protection fundamentals, and construction, roofing, and ladder safety.
Employers are encouraged to use free resources – available now from Oregon OSHA and involving no fault, no citations, and no penalties – for help protecting their employees:
Consultation services – Provides free and confidential help with safety and health programs, including how to control and eliminate hazards, and hands-on training
Technical staff – Helps employers understand requirements and how to apply them to their worksites