Salem, OR — Oregon OSHA has fined a Beaverton construction company more than $40,000 for violating multiple job safety standards during a residential roofing project. In one of the violations, ATC Construction LLC willfully exposed workers to potential falls that could seriously injure or kill them.
The citation against the company resulted from an inspection the division opened in response to a complaint about a jobsite in Tigard involving work to replace a roof on a two-story house.
Employees of ATC Construction – a subcontractor on the roofing job – were found working at heights with no protection against potential falls of at least 10 feet. The unsafe activity occurred two days in a row. Moreover, the lack of fall protection was in plain view of the on-site supervisor and owner of ATC Construction, according to Oregon OSHA’s inspection. In one instance, an employee was allowed to wear a fall protection harness that the employer knew was not connected to the personal fall arrest system.
It was a willful violation – carrying a $40,625 penalty – that went against an Oregon OSHA requirement that employers implement protective systems – such as a personal fall arrest system – when employees are exposed to a hazard of falling six feet or more to a lower level. It also wasn’t the first time ATC Construction violated the rule. In September 2021, Oregon OSHA issued a citation to the company following an inspection of a roofing project in Beaverton. The citation included a serious violation of the same fall protection standard.
A willful violation exists when an employer has demonstrated either an intentional or purposeful disregard for the requirements of the Oregon Safe Employment Act or a plain indifference to employee safety and health.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry.
“Getting the job done and following clear and time-tested safety standards are not mutually exclusive activities,” said Renee Stapleton, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “Employees have a right to a safe workplace, and employers must provide it. That includes making sure fall protection systems are in place and in use when employees are expected to work at heights. Knowingly allowing employees to perform such work with no safeguards is indefensible.”
The citation issued to ATC Construction included other violations of workplace safety requirements, with a total penalty of $42,520. The other violations were as follows:
- Employees were not protected from tripping in, or stepping into or through, skylights. Penalty: $185.
- A ladder used to reach a roof did not have at least three feet of side-rail extended past the upper landing, which exposed employees to potential falls. Penalty: $935.
- Appropriate eye or face protection was not provided during work involving a nail gun, exposing workers to potential serious eye injuries. It was a repeat violation. Penalty: $375.
- The employer failed to prepare a written certification record of fall protection training for all workers who received such training. It was a repeat violation. Penalty: $200.
- The employer failed to document, make available, and keep for three years a written record of each safety meeting during which hazards were identified and discussed. It was a repeat violation. Penalty: $200.
Under Oregon OSHA’s rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses. The citation issued against ATC Construction 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.
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, 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