Oregon Implements Emergency COVID-19 Workplace Regulations

November 11, 2020

Oregon became the third state to implement emergency COVID-19 regulations for workplaces. Late last month, Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its fourth draft of its COVID-19 workplace rules and was accepting comments until October 30. KDRV-TV reports Oregon OSHA adopted the temporary rule late last week.

The rule is expected to take effect on November 16 and last until May 4, 2021. The rule is a continuation of existing Oregon Health Authority guidance which includes physical distance, face masks, and sanitation.

“We believe compliance with this rule will help reduce the serious threat to workers posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA.

He added that the law governs workplace safety and health in Oregon, including protections for a worker’s right to raise on-the-job health and safety concerns free from retaliation. Oregon OSHA will be providing resources for businesses and workers so they can understand the requirements of the temporary rule.

The temporary rule stipulations include:

  • Adherence to physical distancing, also known as social distancing
  • The use of face masks or face shields
  • Improved facility ventilation measures
  • Assessment of employee exposure risks assessments
  • Workplace infection control plan
  • Employee information and training
  • COVID-19 testing and notification of positive results.

The rule requires additional measures for high-risk jobs.

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