Salem, OR — Oregon OSHA has cited a Portland contractor for repeatedly violating workplace safety standards designed to protect workers from falls that could kill them.
The penalty of $65,000 against West Coast Roofing and Painting Inc. – issued this month following an inspection of a residential roofing job – reflects the company’s history of failing to follow a basic requirement: Implementing adequate fall protection systems – such as a personal fall restraint system or other measures – where workers are exposed to falling six feet or more to a lower level.
Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.
“Fall protection saves lives. It keeps workers from falling and getting seriously injured,” said Renee Stapleton, acting administrator for Oregon OSHA. “Employers must put it into practice when work is being done at heights. Failing to do so only increases the risk that a worker will go to the hospital or never go home from work again.”
Oregon OSHA opened the inspection in late March under the division’s emphasis program to prevent falls in the construction industry. The inspection examined West Coast Roofing and Painting’s work on a single-story residential building on Southeast Ivon Street in Portland. The inspection found approximately five employees, working on a roofing project, were exposed to falls to the ground of more than 10 feet with no fall protection in place.
It is the seventh time the company has violated the same fall protection requirement. Oregon OSHA records show that, since 2019, the company has been cited for the same violation as part of six separate inspections of different job locations in the Portland metro area. Under Oregon OSHA’s rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses.
Since 2019, Oregon OSHA has now issued more than $175,000 in fines to West Coast Roofing and Painting for repeatedly violating the same fall protection requirement. That does not include fines issued to the company for other workplace safety violations during that time.
Employers have 30 calendar days after receiving a citation to file an appeal.
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