A farm as well as a labor contractor under investigation after a farmworker died Saturday from heat related issues. Oregon OSHA has opened an investigation into Ernst Nursery and Farms and Brother Farm Labor Contractor after a Guatemalan man, Sebastian Francisco Perez, 38, died while working in the fields at the St. Paul nursery north of Salem.
According to The Oregonian, both the labor contractor and the farm have been cited for workplace violations in the past. Ernst Nursery and Farms was cited in 2014 for failing to provide water to its workers. Ernst Nursery and Farms was also cited by Oregon OSHA in 2007 and 2010 for repeatedly failing to post information about pesticides used at the worksite and the locations and contact information of local emergency medical care facilities.
Ernst Nursery and Farms said they will not comment on the previous citations.
Meanwhile, Andres Pablo Lucas, the owner of Brother Farm Labor Contractor, was fined $7,737 by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division last year for failing to register as a labor contractor and failing to provide information to workers about workplace injuries.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]