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Important OSHA Considerations for Oregon Contractors

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been cracking down on contractors in Oregon that fail to abide by labor laws, train their workers, and maintain safe project sites. The Oregon State Plan is unique to the Beaver State, and covers the majority of public- and private-sector employees, not including: 

  • Federal employees 
  • The United States Postal Service (USPS)
  • Maritime employers
  • Individuals working on military reservations, at federal installations, at Crater Lake National Park, and at Indian reservations

An OSHA compliance officer can arrive at your project site without any prior warning. The flexibility they’ve been afforded to perform inspections as they see fit means contractors can’t afford to perpetuate lax safety policies. If you need assistance with OSHA defense or citation prevention, a Portland contractor lawyer from Cotney Construction Law can help. If you’ve recently received a citation, we can submit a Notice to Contest on your behalf. We can also perform a third-party site audit to help you identify vulnerabilities on your project site to safeguard your business against future inspections. 

Remember, the various rules and regulations established by the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OR-OSHA) are state-specific, so consult an experienced Portland contractor lawyer for all of your OSHA-related needs.

The Function of OR-OSHA

OR-OSHA provides the infrastructure for employers and employees to learn about insurance, project site safety, injury reporting, and citation appeals. To address common issues, like safe lifting and ladder safety, OR-OSHA has developed mobile and desktop apps that teach employees to safely perform these types of tasks. Construction professionals can also benefit from online resources pertaining to the new silica rule, oxygen-fuel gas facts, general contractor responsibilities regarding hazard communication, and more. Another important function of OR-OSHA is maintaining the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), a partnership program that connects employers and workers. Are your workers aware of these resources? Quality training starts with educating your workers about the most common threats they’ll face on a day-to-day basis.

Top OSHA Violations in Oregon

In Oregon, fall protection violations in construction resulted in the largest number of total violations. This means contractors must continue to cast a watchful eye over their workers performing tasks at heights. The most recent data (2017) covers a wide range of common violations across various industries. Several of these violations are commonly linked to the construction industry, including:

  • Fall protection: 661 violations; 84.57% serious, repeat, or willful; average cost per violation: $1,111.62
  • Ladders: 173 violations; 99.42% serious, repeat, or willful; average cost per violation: $660.00
  • Control of hazardous energy: 78 violations; 82.05% serious, repeat, or willful; average cost per violation: $474.68
  • Hazard communication: 959 violations; 29.82% serious, repeat, or willful; average cost per violation: $51.47
  • Personal protective equipment: 51 violations; 66.67% serious, repeat, or willful; average cost per violation: $249.80

Are you tired of watching your bottom line take a hit after every OSHA inspection? Our Portland contractor lawyers provide industry-leading legal services for contractors, including defense against serious, repeat, and willful violations.

If you would like to speak with one of our Portland contractor lawyers, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.