Archived News and Updates


December 2017: OR-FACE published a new investigation report about a construction worker who died after falling 20-25 feet from a pump-jack scaffold. A number of safety hazards were identified that could have been prevented. The investigation report can be downloaded here. OR-FACE also recently partnered with SAIF to publish an updated hazard alert for agriculture, including real stories about some recent farm and ranch fatalities and prevention recommendations. You can download the hazard alert document here. 

November 2017: 
In November, OR-FACE visited the ASSE Oregon State University Student Section, which is sponsored by the ASSE Columbia-Willamette Chapter. It was a wonderful visit discussing occupational health and safety career paths with this engaged group of students. OR-FACE is also developing a hazard alert document for our Oregon agriculture partners to help identify and prevent common fatal hazards on farms and ranches. The document will be shared with attendees of the SAIF agriculture safety seminar program. We also attended the Portland Construction Industry Suicide Prevention Summit sponsored by the Portland CFMA Chapter. Enlightening presentations discussed various risk factors that contribute to the high suicide rate in the construction industry, and offered valuable recommendations for improvement.

October 2017: October was a busy conference month for OR-FACE. We gave presentations at two meetings. First was the annual meeting of the NIOSH FACE program, held in Morgantown, WV, headquarters of NIOSH's Division of Safety Research. All seven states with FACE programs attended along with national NIOSH FACE staff. Ryan Olson presented updates on Oregon FACE activities. Barb Epstien facilitated a discussion on multi-state collaborations, which sparked several ideas aimed at enhancing FACE's impact on fatality prevention outreach. She also presented a case study about a fatal logging incident; other states also presented unique case studies. NIOSH staff provided updates on current research underway.

Later in the month, Barb attended the Pacific NW Section-AIHA NW Occupational Health Conference (NOHC) in Spokane, WA. She and Todd Schoonover of Washington FACE co-presented "FACE Program Perspectives on Fatal Logging Injuries in the PNW: a review of Oregon and Washington Surveillance Data, Investigation, Research, and Prevention Outreach".

September 2017: OR-FACE participated in the 10th annual Western Occupational Network (WestON) meeting in Denver. The meeting provides a great opportunity to establish and strengthen collaborative relationships with other state based surveillance, epidemiology, and worker injury and illness prevention programs. The 19 western states in the network share priorities including mining, agriculture, logging, wildland fire fighting, and oil and gas extraction. Barb Epstien gave a "Quick Takes" presentation about OR-FACE's partnerships aimed at helping prevent agricultural fatalities. The talk was part of a session entitled, "Risky Business", and it highlighted OR-FACE's work with the SAIF Corporation's Agriculture Seminar Series and the social network analysis currently underway with Oregon wine growers. You can download the presentation here.

August 2017: In Oregon, agriculture regularly ranks among the top four most deadly industries. Hazards include working with mobile machinery, such as tractors and attached farming equipment. To better understand how to communicate and spread best safety practices to owners of smaller farms, OR-FACE is conducting a social network analysis study. As part of this project OR-FACE recently toured a few vineyards in Oregon’s Dundee Hills area, to help the team understand vineyard management, farm practices, and industry terminology before finalizing their social network survey. This survey will ask vineyards owners and managers about people and organizations they go to for advice about equipment and safety. The aim of the study is to map pathways of information flow and influence in the network, and potentially identify people or organizations to target with safety communications. The overall goal is to increase adoption of safe practices on smaller farms, particularly around mobile machinery.

July 2017: This summer, OR-FACE has been actively collaborating with OR-OSHA on fatality investigations. This ongoing relationship, fostered by a letter of agreement, enhances and helps inform OR-FACE's ability to identify root causes of workplace fatalities occurring in Oregon, thereby helping provide a basis for prevention recommendations for improving safety practices.

June 2017: The National Safety Council cited a recently published OR-FACE toolbox talk guide in their monthly magazine, Safety+Health. The magazine has a readership of 86,000 subscribers. The guide mentioned in the June 2017 issue is about a forestry worker who was killed when her vehicle was struck by a tree being felled. You can read their article, "Death of Oregon forestry worker prompts new toolbox talk" here. You can also download the OR-FACE guide here.

Barb Epstien and Illa Gilbert-Jones presented an analysis of Oregon occupational fatal injury data and other OR-FACE surveillance, research, and assessment findings, and outreach and prevention activities, at the American Industrial Hygiene Conference & Expo (AIHce) in Seattle. Download their presentation here

May 2017: OR-FACE has published a new toolbox talk guide about a 55-year-old forestry worker who was killed when her vehicle was struck by a tree. Download the guide here.

April 2017: OR-FACE has published a new toolbox talk guide about a 46-year old dump truck driver who was killed when he lost control making a turn on a downhill slope. Download the guide here.

March 2017: Did you miss OR-FACE at GOSH? Barb Epstien and Illa Gilbert-Jones presented data on traumatic occupational fatalities and findings from construction investigations. Download their presentation here.

February 2017: OR-FACE and Oregon OSHA recently updated their letter of agreement. You can learn more about this in our blog post.


February 2016: OR-FACE published hazard alert, "Follow manufacturer's instructions."

Multiple Oregon Construction deaths have been linked to not following manufacturer's instructions for equipment or building materials.  Three example cases are described in the Alert.

January 2016: Investigation Report, "Crane operator killed by falling steel beam," was published and posted on website.


November/December 2015: OR-FACE published three more toolbox talk guides based on fatalities involving a hydraulic accumulator with stored energy, fall through a skylight and drowning in a landscape  pond.  OR-FACE participated in an OSHA 10 class for high school students by teaching machine  guarding and describing fatalities where guarding would have prevented the incident. 

September/October 2015OR-FACE published Spanish toolbox talk guides. Six English toolbox talk guides published previously are now available in Spanish.

August 2015: OR-FACE publishes Occupational Fatalities in Oregon Annual Report 2013Included in the report are graphs for the year 2013 and cumulative data from when OR-FACE began surveillance in 2003 through 2013.

July 2015: National Truckers Association  publishes in Safety Issues, "Salesman killed whenforklift falls of truck loading ramp."  The article was based on an OR-FACE fatality report. 

June 2015:  At the Oregon Columbia Chapter of Associated General Contractors June safety meeting, OR-FACE presented available construction resources and a proposed research on mobile marketing of construction toolbox talk guides and hazard alerts. 

May 2015: Oregon participated in the National Safety Stand-down to prevent falls in construction.  OR-FACE and partners through extensive outreach distributed safety stand-down information.  Complimentary fall hazard awareness training was organized by the partners and facilitated by the Pacific Northwest OSHA Education Center in Portland.  

OR-FACE presented FACE data at the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences Spring Symposium, "Temporary and Contingent Worker Safety and Health."

April 2015: OR-FACE was invited to present at an ASSE Columbia-Willamette Chapter membership meeting.  In addition to the OR-FACE mission, resources and proposed research, the presentation included a summary of ten years of data and the lessons learned from the investigations conducted in 2014 and 2015.

March 2015: OR-FACE collaborated with Jennifer Flood, DCBS Ombudsman for Injured Workers and Mike Riffe, OR-OSHA Investigator to present "Research and Resources on Traumatic Occupational Incidents," at the 2015 Governor's Occupational Safety & Health Conference.


December 2014: OR-FACE participates in the Western Pulp, Paper & Forest Products Safety & Health Conference featuring logging toolbox talks. Two fatality investigation reports are published -- Contract sanitation worker killed cleaning meat blending equipment and Vineyard worker killed in fall from trailer.

November 2014: OR-FACE presented at the Associated Oregon Loggers annual safety conference on November 8. The 185 conference attendees were provided information on the available OR-FACE resources-toolbox talks, investigation reports, brochures, hazard alerts and annual reports. OR-FACE is pleased to collaborate with AOL to further efforts in preventing logging fatalities in Oregon. In October, the Washington State L&I, SHARP Research Director notified OR-FACE that the logging toolbox talks created by OR-FACE will be sent to ∼200 logging contractors in Washington State.

September 2014: During 2000-2009 70% of commercial fishing deaths off the US West coast were caused by drowning. Dungeness crab fisheries had the highest number of fatalities. Falls overboard accounted for 24% of all fatalities. None of the victim of falls overboard were wearing personal flotation device. A Crab fishing hazard alert was published with safety tips and fatal stories of three Oregon commercial fishermen.

Four more toolbox talk guides were added to the website: (1) Load of lumber shifts and falls on construction worker; (2) Truck driver crushed between semi-trailer and loading dock ; (3) Mechanic killed by excavator bucket ; and (4) Excavation worker killed by flying rigging when hook fails.

July 2014: OR-FACE published Fatality Investigation Report OR 2013-27-1, "Collapsed roof trusses kill carpenter foreman."

June 2014: OR-FACE published three Toolbox Talk guides based on occupational fatalities in logging: Logger Killed Under Rigging When Carriage Drops, Timber Faller Killed While Working Under a Hung Tree Limb, and Logger Killed by Falling Sheave When Yarder Tower Collapses. The OR-FACE website highlights the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction and provides a direct link to resources.

April 2014: OR-FACE published an investigation report, "Experienced Journey Machinist Killed While Operating an Engine Lathe." On April 28 OR-FACE attended the annual Workers Memorial Day honoring the fallen Oregon workers. To honor the forty-six who were lost to workplace deaths in 2013, their names were read aloud during the service.

CPWR videos based on FACE fatalities were embedded in the OR-FACE website. Videos are on the right column of the site.

To encourage participation in the National Safety campaign, Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction the link and ad were prominently placed on the OR-FACE website.

January 2014: Illa Gilbert-Jones, CIH, CSP, started with OR-FACE on January 1 as Program Manager/Field Investigator. She has 25+ years of experience in health and safety in a variety of industries. OR-FACE toolbox talk initiative poster was presented at the mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit in Bend, OR on January 28. Pictured are Illa and Dede Montgomery with toolbox talk poster.