In an effort to spread awareness about Oregon OSHA’s concerns relating to workplace safety, the agency has developed many resources to assist contractors that want to protect their workers’ safety and health. In addition to free safety, health, and ergonomic consultations, Oregon OSHA also offers no-cost workshops as well as pre-job conferences. However, working closely with OSHA comes at a cost. When you seek assistance from OSHA, you also bring them one step closer to performing an inspection of your site for potential violations. Due to this, many contractors prefer to consult a Portland construction attorney for assistance handling OSHA.
Seeking assistance from OSHA can be a dangerous game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use some of their resources to your advantage. In this article, we’ll cover sections A and B of Oregon OSHA’s The ABCs of Construction Site Safety and provide insight for contractors looking to prevent worker injury and avoid OSHA citations.
A: Accident Prevention and Accident Investigation
All construction business owners are responsible for maintaining compliance with Oregon OSHA’s construction rules and regulations. In order to prevent accidents, Oregon OSHA emphasizes the following points:
- Employers must designate a “competent person” (or persons) to perform regular project site inspections. This includes checking all materials and equipment for potential safety violations.
- The proper lockout/tagout procedures must be followed.
- Any equipment that is not regulated by OSHA is prohibited from entering the project site.
- Employers are responsible for only allowing those who have undergone training or have experience to operate machinery or equipment.
- Facilitating a project site that prioritizes safety and health of workers.
- Ensuring that all work is performed in compliance with relevant Oregon OSHA safety and health rules.
- Utilizing any means necessary to achieve a safe project site.
- Furnishing the required safety devices, guards, notices, and warnings to prevent injury.
It’s also worth noting that Oregon OSHA requires the employer to earnestly investigate every lost-time injury to see if action can be taken to remedy the cause of the accident. Taking prompt action is advised, especially when the correction involves the installation of a safeguard. Supervisors are responsible for overseeing the safe execution of work and ensuring that all workers are safe and conducting themselves in an appropriate manner.
B: Barricades and Other Traffic Controls
Traffic controls are essential for maintaining the safety of the public during construction. With heavy machinery entering and exiting the roadway, you can’t afford to have poorly executed traffic controls. Oregon OSHA suggests that contractors rely on “adequate, appropriate traffic controls” for any construction taking place “on or adjacent to a highway, street, or roadway.” This includes the use of barricades and flaggers. The same considerations apply to vehicle drivers and riders.
Have you been cited by Oregon OSHA? Depending on the particulars of your case, it may not be too late to fix your situation. Consult a Portland construction attorney from Cotney Construction Law to learn more about how you can defend yourself against OSHA citations.
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.