Local hemp processors fined over $800k for ‘willful safety violations’

One of two doors padlocked on the outside. (Photo: ODCBS)

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – Local employers have been fined nearly over $800,000 for safety violations at a hemp processing facility.

The Oregon State Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said five employers were using a condemned building in the Murphy area to house about 25 people who were working to process and package hemp.

According to OSHA, the 23,398 square-foot building in the 6700 block of Williams Highway could have collapsed and severely injured or killed the workers. In addition, the building wasn’t structurally sound and didn’t have proper exit routes in case of an emergency.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services stated, “Instead of addressing the building’s ‘open and obvious’ structural defects that could have caused the building to collapse, according to Oregon OSHA’s investigation, employers allowed an estimated 25 people to work, live, cook, and sleep in and around it.”

The employers accused of the willful safety violations are 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.

OSHA issued citations of $165,000 to each of the five employers, totaling $825,000.

NBC5 News is attempting to reach out to the employers identified in OSHA’s inspection documents. This article will be updated with any new information.

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