Posted by Rick on January 03, 1999 at 16:44:06:
A decade-long building boom in Oregon doubled the number of construction jobs in the state to 80,000. But Despite the increase, state workplace safety inspections dropped from 5,700 in 1992 to 4,600 last year.
Despite this Oregon OSHA claims that employers have made our jobs safer which is the reason insurance rates have gone down. They say it's due to the threat of stiff penalties for safety violations.
Here's some examples of "political" compromise. It's obvious Oregon OSHA's "BIG STICK" is more like a "MCDONALDS COFFEE STIRER"
The largest workplace safety fine previously assessed in Oregon was $1.4 million charged to Oregon Steel Mills Inc. for violating rules that govern worker exposure to cadmium and lead. After an appeal, the penalty was reduced to $156,360.
Portland airport's parking garage collapsed in the summer of 1997 killing three ironworkers. The day the accident occurred, the raising gang was on a pace to finish quickly enough to help Baugh Construction pocket $150,000 in efficiency bonuses from the Port.
Baugh Construction Oregon Inc., the general contractor in charge of the Portland International Airport's $141 million expansion project was fined $5,000, which it's appealed, for two violations -- failing to provide a safe work site and adequate safety training.
OSHA inspectors did make a return visit to the airport in February. They cited Baugh for eight violations and $1,890 in fines, which were reduced to $210. Only One of the violations was classified as "serious," the second-most severe of three agency ratings: Wood handles of tools on the work site were defective.
Yes, they did impose a record fine of $1.52 million against the steel erecting company for negligence. It's been appealed and in all likelihood will also be reduced dramatically even though it was a small company without the political clout (bribery) that a Baugh Construction or Oregon Steel Mills has.
Oregon law says the families of workers injured on a job can file for workers' compensation benefits but cannot sue the employer for workplace injuries.
Workers' compensation claims are confidential. , but According to the state's formula for 1997, the year of the accident, the spouse of a worker who died would receive about $1,600 a month in benefits; and children would receive $240 a month.
This is what Oregon government thinks our lives are worth. It's about 1/3 of what a good rigger can earn a year.
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