OSHA - 350 Winter Street NE Room 430 - Salem, Oregon 97301-3882
For Immediate Release:
January 30, 2006
Contact for more Information:
Kevin Weeks, Public Information Officer, 503-947-7428
Oregon OSHA concludes investigation into death of window washer
(Salem) The Department of Consumer and Business Services,
Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) today announced
the conclusion of the division's investigation into the October
19, 2005 incident that killed a 31-year-old worker preparing to
wash windows at a downtown Portland office building.
Angel Gonzalez-Cacho was on the roof of 1621 SW First Avenue in Portland preparing to descend the side of the building in a boatswain's ("bosuns") chair with a window-washing
partner in a second boatswain's chair. Gonzalez-Cacho worked as a window-washing supervisor for We Do Windows, a Portland-based window cleaning business. When Gonzalez-Cacho began to lower himself
against the side of the building, the boatswain's chair did not support him, and he fell 72 feet to a concrete pathway below the building. He was pronounced dead at the scene due to massive head trauma.
The Oregon OSHA investigation found that one end of the cable used to support Gonzalez-Cacho's boatswain chair had not been securely connected to an anchorage point on the building, and Gonzalez-Cacho
was not attached to a required second, independent safety line intended to arrest the worker's fall in the event of an equipment failure. The investigation of We Do Windows also determined that the
employer did not ensure that all employees were proficient in safe work practices. The employer had also not inspected equipment used at the work site and did not supervise workers to ensure that safe
work practices were followed.
As a result of the investigation, Oregon OSHA cited We Do Windows under the Oregon Safe Employment Act for failing to provide direct training and supervision of employees at the employers work
sites. Oregon OSHA classifies this violation as 'Serious.' It carries a proposed civil penalty of $5,000 and requires the employer to put in place safeguards to ensure that workers are protected in
The employer has up to twenty days following issuance of the citation to decide whether to file an appeal with Oregon OSHA regarding the violation alleged in the citation.