Safety Violations in Central Oregon

We’ve got good news out of Central Oregon – Oregon OSHA has issued a citation to the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council (COIC) requiring the company to improve working conditions for ATU-represented workers!

Over the summer, we learned that COIC was forcing operators to drive a vehicle which had a burned-out headlight. As you can see below, these buses already have bike racks that cover the headlights when they’re up. Even worse, this particular vehicle had first pull-out at about 5:30am, and was being driven during the smoky wildfire season. It goes without saying that that’s a recipe for disaster: every bus should have headlights that allow the operator to safely see in the dark.

ATU 757’s Liaison Officer for COIC, Jacob Foster, filed a complaint with OSHA asking the agency to investigate. At the end of that investigation, COIC was cited for four things:

1) The bus with a burned-out headlight, which the company has pledged to take out of service until it’s repaired
2) Failure to train local Safety Committee members in accident and incident investigation
3) Failure to train local Safety Committee members in hazard identification
4) Failure to ensure that workers knew how to report hazards to their Safety Committee, and failure to provide Safety Committee meeting minutes to workers

We will work to ensure that COIC is fully implementing the requirements in the OSHA citation below. Every transit worker deserves a safe workplace. This work is already back-breaking and dangerous, and it doesn’t help when our bosses fail to ensure a safe and secure workplace. No matter where you work, if you see a safety issue in the workplace, call your shop steward, liaison officer, Executive Board officer, or the Union Hall at (503) 232-9144, and let’s fight together for health and safety!