Five southern Oregon employers fined $825K for job safety violations

Oregon OSHA said its fined multiple employers more than $800k for willful job safety violations linked to a property in Josephine County.

Posted: Nov 5, 2019 10:34 AM
Updated: Nov 5, 2019 10:41 AM

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore.-- Oregon OSHA has fined five employers more than $800,000 for job safety violations. 

OSHA said all the employers are linked to a property in Josephine County used to house workers and process hemp. 

The violations the employers are facing include allowing 25 employees work in a condemned building that could have collapse and severely injured or killed them, according the OSHA. 

OSHA named the following employers as part of the violations: Eighteen New Hope LLC; Jai B Levy and Yoram Levy and Yuval Magid; Jai B Levy and Yoram Levy; Yuval Magid; and Safe & Simple LLC.

A property in Murphy is at the heart of the issue. OSHA said the property was used to trim and package hemp for resale. 

OSHA launched an investigation of the operation based on a referral from the Office of the State Fire Marshal. 

The building included working and living areas. It had been deemed unsafe for occupation by the Josephine County building safety officials.

Instead of addressing the building's structural defects, OSHA investigators says the employers allowed the employees to work, live, cook, and sleep in and around it. 

The investigation also identified major gaps in and under the building's walls. OSHA said it exposed workers to water, rodents, and insects. Investigators also found a lack of exit routes and padlocked doors that left workers no safe way to escape the building in case of a collapse or fire. 

“Our rules are clear about providing people with a safe and healthy place to work, including making necessary repairs and following sound safety practices,” said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. “The same goes for our requirements when employers provide housing to workers. The neglect in this case is staggering and utterly inexcusable.”

Oregon OSHA issued citations with $165,000 in penalties to each of the five employers, for a total of $825,000 in fines. Each citation outlined the same five willful violations identified by the agency. A willful violation occurs when an employer intentionally or knowingly disregards workplace safety and health requirements.

OSHA listed the following violations the employers are charged with:

  • Failure to make the building structurally safe and to have it properly inspected before allowing employees to enter, occupy, and work within it.
  • Failure to ensure living areas were safe, in good repair structurally, and stable on their foundations.
  • Failure to provide permanent, unobstructed exit routes to leave work areas safely during emergencies.
  • Failure to provide two or more exit routes that were necessary for employees to safely escape during a structural collapse or fire.
  • Failure to ensure exit doors were unhindered for use during an emergency. Two exit doors were blocked by padlocks on the outside of each door.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 190804

Reported Deaths: 2528
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah37830583
Washington25279229
Marion21739306
Clackamas17107209
Lane12799145
Jackson10716135
Deschutes866973
Umatilla814084
Linn479867
Yamhill441175
Klamath430861
Polk369952
Malheur349861
Josephine330268
Douglas322070
Benton302619
Jefferson216734
Coos204633
Columbia170526
Union144423
Lincoln137020
Wasco137028
Hood River117930
Morrow110015
Crook106520
Clatsop9738
Baker94614
Curry6459
Tillamook6363
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3378
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
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California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3757115

Reported Deaths: 62280
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123542224008
Riverside2990644587
San Bernardino2965144697
San Diego2777593725
Orange2707055005
Santa Clara1188512085
Kern1089931373
Sacramento1041761672
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Ventura808421011
San Joaquin730091391
Contra Costa68503804
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Tulare49554839
Monterey43563382
San Mateo41844568
San Francisco36616543
Santa Barbara34306453
Solano32752249
Merced31743458
Sonoma29975318
Imperial28352721
Kings22965246
Placer22550290
San Luis Obispo21282260
Madera16439242
Santa Cruz16188206
Marin14034228
Yolo13875209
Shasta12071226
Butte11943199
El Dorado10111112
Napa984981
Sutter9411111
Yuba622146
San Benito604863
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Tehama555358
Nevada470775
Tuolumne412364
Mendocino406149
Humboldt393539
Amador365147
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Glenn238125
Colusa223016
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Inyo142638
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