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Roseburg contractor faces huge fines for not protecting workers from fatal falls

The company has been fined more than $120,000 after repeatedly exposing workers to falls up to 20 feet.

Posted: Dec 1, 2020 12:52 PM
Updated: Dec 1, 2020 12:56 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. – A Roseburg contractor is facing a hefty fine after state officials say the company’s practices fail to protect workers from potentially fatal falls.

Mid Oregon Builders LLC will have to pay $42,000 for continuing “to fumble basic workplace safety standards,” state officials said.

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the company twice in recent months, and state officials said the company has a history of failing to implement adequate fall protection systems.

“There is absolutely no good reason for an employer to neglect fall protection requirements that are proven to protect workers,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “To repeatedly choose to disregard them is inexcusable. It serves only to leave preventable hazards unaddressed and people’s lives at increased risk.”

The $42,000 penalty stems from the most recent citation which was issued in November. State officials said an inspection found an employee had been exposed to a potential fall of about 20 feet while on a roofing job on a new house in Sutherlin. The worker was not connected to a fall protection lifeline, they said.

In September, the company was fined $38,390 for lack of fall protection safeguards and other workplace safety violations.

The company has reportedly violated the fall protection rule five times since July 2018. It applies anytime a worker is exposed to a fall of greater than six feet. Mid Oregon Builders has been fined more than $120,000 from the fall protection violations alone.

Officials said falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry.

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