June 2014

News Briefs

Fallen Oregon workers remembered at Salem ceremony

Workers killed on the job in Oregon were remembered April 28 with a ceremony to coincide with the national Workers Memorial Day. With bagpipe and drum music in the background, the memorial service was held at the Fallen Workers Memorial outside the Labor and Industries Building in Salem. It also featured the reading of the names of Oregon workers and military personnel who died on the job in 2013 – 46 names in all.

AFL-CIO President Tom Chamberlain provided opening remarks and Oregon OSHA's Administrator Michael Wood told the crowd a workplace is not a place where anyone goes to lose their life.

"The work is not done," Wood said. "Far too many people die on the job in Oregon."

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The annual Workers Memorial Day serves as a nationwide day of remembrance. It recognizes the thousands of U.S. workers who die each year on the job and the more than 1 million people in the U.S. injured each year at work. The observance is traditionally held April 28 because Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act on that date in 1970.

Sadly, Wood said the goal of a safe workplace for every worker in Oregon has not been achieved.

"Each of those names is a person with a story, a family, and co-workers," Wood said. "Too many people died on the job in Oregon. We can do better. We must do better. We will do better."   ▉

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St. Helens High School students win statewide safety video contest

Five students from St. Helens High School took home first-place honors and $500 for their video "Flashbacks," which promotes young worker safety and health. The video, created by Michael Norris, Shawn Vielmetti, Colton Sundell, David Bair, and Hunter Ogle, tells the story of a supervisor remembering safety mistakes in his past. All the schools affiliated with the winning videos won a matching amount of prize money.

"We want other kids to work safe in a dangerous environment, even if it means speaking up," said David Bair, a junior on the first-place team.

Video contest winners
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The other winners were:

Second place ($400):
Isaac O'Farrell, Nathan Parrott, Conner Mann, Nicholas Hayes
Southridge High School, Beaverton
"Safety Is the Last Thing On My Mind"

Third place ($300):
John Patterson, Sophia Patterson
South Salem High School, Salem

The creators of the top videos were presented their awards April 26 at a special screening at the Northern Lights Theatre in Salem. The contest is designed to increase awareness about safety for young workers, with the theme of "Speak up. Work safe." Students were asked to create a video with a teen job safety and health message and were judged on creativity, production value, youth appeal, and the overall safety and health message. All of the winning videos, as well as the other finalists, are available for viewing at

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) organizes the contest. The sponsors are Oregon OSHA, SAIF Corporation, local Oregon chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at Oregon Health & Science University, the SHARP Alliance, Liberty Mutual, the Central Oregon Safety and Health Association, the SafeBuild Alliance, Oregon Health Authority, Hoffman Construction, and the Portland Daily Journal of Commerce.  ▉

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Companies across Oregon participate in Safety Break 2014

More than 70 organizations held trainings and recognized safety all-stars as part of the annual Safety Break for Oregon on May 14. The event is designed to raise awareness and promote the value of safety and health in preventing on-the-job injuries and illnesses.

Employees at R.D. Bussard & Son in Albany took part in hands-on fire extinguisher training.

"It made staff feel more confident that they would be able to respond quicker and more efficiently if there was a fire," said Mary Cordle, who works in the company's customer service department. "The training also covered fire extinguisher maintenance, so if there is an emergency, the fire extinguisher will be ready to go."

Fred Shearer & Sons has been participating since 2008 and held a company barbecue with a presentation from an injured worker.

"Seeing the possible consequences of a poor safety decision first hand made a huge impact with our crew," said Jim Jones, safety manager at Fred Shearer & Sons.

Aramark Uniform Services, Mosaic Medical, and the Oregon Military Department each won a $100 pizza luncheon prize as part of the SHARP Alliance sponsored contest.  ▉

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National stand-down for fall protection planned June 2-6

Federal OSHA is encouraging organizations to participate in a national safety stand-down June 2-6 to raise awareness about the hazards of falls, which account for the highest number of deaths in the construction industry.

"We continue to face a culture on some job sites where it's acceptable and even normal to work without fall protection," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "Fall violations are still the No. 1 citation for the construction industry."

During the stand-down, employers and workers are asked to pause their workday to talk about fall prevention in construction, and discuss topics such as ladder safety, scaffolding safety, and roofing work safety. OSHA has also launched an official national safety stand-down website with information on how to conduct a successful stand-down. Afterwards, employers will be able to provide feedback and receive a personalized certificate of participation.

The stand-down is part of OSHA's ongoing fall prevention campaign, which was started 2012 and was developed in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. More information about the campaign is available at  ▉

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Oregon GOSH Conference accepting safety award nominations

Nominations are being accepted for the 2015 Oregon GOSH Awards, which will honor organizations and individuals who make extraordinary contributions to workplace safety and health.

The awards will be presented March 11, 2015, as part of the Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference, scheduled March 9-12. The conference, the largest of its kind in the Northwest, will be held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.

Nominees will compete with like-sized organizations in the following categories:

Applications are available at and are due Oct. 1, 2014.  ▉

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Annual career fair builds interest for Oregon girls in trades

High school students donned PPE and tested trades from pole climbing to firefighting and woodworking at the Oregon Tradeswomen Inc.'s 22nd annual Women in Trades Career Fair at the NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center in Portland May 8-10.

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Sydney Scott (right) tries torch cutting for the first time.
Sydney Scott (right) tries torch cutting for the first time.

Gabrielle Boone, a senior at Sam Barlow High School in Gresham, put on a belt and boots to climb a tower with the help of a journeyman from Portland General Electric. She already works after school at Jiffy Lube and doesn't mind being in a field traditionally dominated by men.

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Gabrielle Boone (left) wants to be in an occupation where she can do hands-on work.
Gabrielle Boone (left) wants to be in an occupation
where she can do hands-on work.

"I like hands-on jobs," Boone said. "I never thought I'd be the type of person to sit in an office."

Sydney Scott, who came with a Bend-based Girl Scout troop to the fair, tried her hand at torch cutting with the help of an Ironworkers Local 29 worker.

"It was hard and kind of scary trying to get it in a straight line," she said of working with the hot torch.

Dede Montgomery, with the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at Oregon Health & Science University, worked with a group of students to help educate them about on-the-job safety hazards.

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Over 1,200 high school and middle school students attended the three-day fair, geared to draw more women into construction and other trades.   ▉

Oregon OSHA Spanish language program earns OSCAR

Oregon OSHA's PESO and Spanish language outreach efforts won an On-Site Consultation Achievement Recognition (OSCAR) at the national consultation conference. Oregon OSHA picked up the award for its 18 PESO (Spanish language) modules and statewide training offerings. Three OSCARs were awarded nationwide.   ▉

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