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OROSHA Cracking Down on Construction Project Safety Violations

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OROSHA) is inspecting projects and cracking down on employers that are not adequately protecting their workers. The result of these inspections has been incredibly high fines, and referral of the matters to the Construction Contractors Board in extreme cases. You should always consult the OROSHA rules when planning a project, or consult an Oregon construction management attorney to make sure you're injury prevention methods are sufficient.

A recent example illustrates why. On October of last year, a worker's 20-foot fall on a project led to OROSHA inspecting the project for hazardous working conditions. What it found was inadequate scaffolding designs, employees not taking safety precautions, and a general passive attitude toward safety by the employer.

Generally, when OROSHA discovers a safety violation on a worksite the fine can range from $400 to $1,000. For repeat violations, however, the fine can reach over $70,000 for one incident. That's on top of the fines already assessed for previously discovered violations.

In the October worksite inspection mentioned above, OROSHA assessed the employer a fine of $72,825 for repeated fall prevention violations, as well as for late payment on previous violations. In addition to the fine, OROSHA expressed its intent to report the employer to the CCB, which could result in the employer being unable to do work in Oregon going forward.

This is an extreme example, but it illustrates OROSHA's intention not to let such violations (especially repeat violations) slide without consequence to the employer. If you're entering the project-planning phase, or have other project management concerns, an Oregon construction attorney can help make sure you're compliant with the relevant local standards.

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Slinde Nelson Stanford
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