Salem, OR — Oregon OSHA has cited Hillsboro contractor Arm & Hammer Construction Inc. for $25,870 for multiple violations of workplace safety rules, including repeatedly failing to protect workers from fall hazards that could seriously injure or kill them.
The citation against the company resulted from an inspection conducted under Oregon OSHA’s emphasis program on fall hazards in construction. The prevention-based program includes direction to inspectors to act based on observations while in the field.
The inspection of Arm & Hammer Construction centered on a Portland jobsite where work was being done on the second-floor decking of a multistory residential building that was under construction. Oregon OSHA’s inspection found multiple employees exposed to uncontrolled falls – as high as 10 feet – to a lower level while working on the second-floor decking.
It was the fourth time over the past two years that the company violated a rule that requires employers to implement fall protection systems at jobsites when employees are exposed to a hazard of falling 6 feet or more to a lower level.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death in the construction industry.
“When employers direct employees to work at heights, they must take it seriously, follow safety rules, and ensure those employees are protected against fall hazards,” said Renee Stapleton, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “To fail to do so puts people in harm’s way – people who have families, friends, and communities to go home to at the end of the workday.”
Altogether, Oregon OSHA’s citation against Arm & Hammer Construction encompassed the following violations:
- The employer did not ensure that two fiberglass extension ladders were free from structural defects when used by employees to work on the second-floor decking. Penalty: $535.
- The employer failed to ensure employees used eye or face protection while operating pneumatic nail guns. Penalty: $185.
- The employer did not ensure that ladders, when used by employees to access the second-floor decking, had at least 3 feet of side rail extended past the upper landing. It was a repeat violation of the rule. Penalty: $375.
- The employer failed to ensure that a fall protection system was provided, installed, and implemented when employees were exposed to a hazard of falling 6 feet or more to a lower level. It was the fourth repeat violation of the rule. Penalty: $24,375.
- The employer did not have a written certification record to verify that each employee assigned to work at heights greater than 6 feet was trained to recognize the hazards of falling and in the procedures to follow to minimize those hazards. It was a repeat violation of the rule. Penalty: $200.
- The employer failed to properly document and maintain a written record of safety meetings – including the dates of those meetings – during which hazards were identified and discussed. It was a repeat violation of the rule. Penalty: $200.
The total penalty issued against Arm & Hammer Construction included a standard penalty reduction based on the small size of the company. Under Oregon OSHA’s rules, penalties multiply when employers commit repeat offenses.
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,
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