Farm where worker died earlier cited for safety violations

July 2, 2021 GMT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A farm and a labor contractor under investigation by Oregon’s workplace safety agency after the death of a farmworker Saturday were both previously cited for workplace violations.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health division, known as Oregon OSHA, has opened an investigation into Ernst Nursery and Farms and Brother Farm Labor Contractor after a Guatemalan man died while working in the fields at the St. Paul nursery north of Salem, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

The agency listed 38-year-old Sebastian Francisco Perez’s death as heat-related in its preliminary incident description.

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.


A person who answered the phone at Ernst Nursery and Farms Thursday said the company wouldn’t comment on the previous citations.

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.

The company’s federal and state registration was active on Saturday. Pablo Lucas declined to comment on the U.S. Department of Labor violation.