[Announcement 2.2.21] - Oregon OSHA proposes permanent rule addressing COVID-19 in all workplaces
Oregon OSHA is proposing a permanent rule that largely maintains – with some improvements – the risk-reducing measures required by the current temporary emergency rule. It would replace the temporary rule, which expires on May 4. The proposed permanent rule will receive virtual public hearings later this month and in early March. Although the rule must be adopted as a permanent rule because the law does not allow a temporary rule to be extended, Oregon OSHA expects to repeal the permanent rule once it is no longer needed to address the coronavirus pandemic. Read more.
Virtual public hearings will be held at 10 a.m. on Feb. 23 and Feb. 26, and at 5 p.m. on March 3 and March 4. ORLA encourages industry members to sign up for the hearings or for commenting on the proposed rule to share your experiences and perspectives. The comment period will close on April 2. Visit the OSHA website for details.
[Update as of 1.11.21] - OSHA Puts Pause on Rulemaking
ORLA, in collaboration with other business groups urged Oregon OSHA to make the temporary Infectious Disease rules permanent (read letter). Given how much time and resources businesses put into complying with the rules, now is not the time to make drastic changes. These temporary rules have only been in place since mid-November, and businesses need time to adjust before adding new regulatory burdens.
On January 11, OSHA backed down and said they will not pursue new changes to rules for COVID. The temporary rules will be the permanent rules until we get through the pandemic and then OSHA will rescind the permanent rule at that time and revisit.
[Update as of 12.8.20] - Oregon OSHA Rule Updates: Grace Period Extended, Training Offered
OR-OSHA will grant a 3-week extension to restaurants, gyms and other businesses impacted by the freeze/the new county risk levels. All other businesses are granted a 1-week enforcement grace period IF they are actively working to comply. Read memo from OR-0SHA.
OR-OSHA has released an online interactive education course designed to help employers meet four of the 10 training requirements found in their COVID-19 rules. The 1-hour course begins with an explanation of the dangers of COVID-19 and why the temporary rules were adopted. The course is then divided into four modules: Introduction; Signs, Symptoms and Transmission; Control Measures; and Conclusion. The course is available in both English and Spanish and should be incorporated with your other training planned under the rules. Find English Course and Spanish Course.
You can also download the presentation as a PowerPoint (scroll to bottom of page). While not required, OR-OSHA also included a model ‘training verification form’ for employees.
OR-OSHA also released completed Exposure Risk Assessment and Infection Control Plans over the weekend:
Important Timelines to Remember:
*Reminder you do not need to submit your Exposure Risk Assessment or Infection Control Plan to OR-OSHA for review. Your Infection Control Plan (if you have more than 10 employees or are an “Exceptional Risk Workplace”) needs to be available in writing to your employees at the workplace.
Helpful tools to-date:
[Update as of 11.6.20]
The final OSHA Temporary Rule addressing COVID-19 has been released. As a reminder, as Temporary Rules these are allowed to be in effect for 180-days. A discussion about making them permanent (possibly expanded/revised) is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
Effective Date: November 16, 2020 to May 4, 2021
Delayed Effective Dates:
Several resources are now available online under “Documents,” with more on the way in the weeks to come. OSHA also offers consultation services and technical specialists to help employers comply with the requirements.
View the entire Temporary Rule here: https://osha.oregon.gov/OSHARules/div1/437-001-0744.pdf
View workplace chart for application here: https://osha.oregon.gov/rules/advisory/infectiousdisease/Documents/Overview-Table-for-Oregon-OSHA-COVID-19-Temporary-Rule.pdf
OR-OSHA also released a fillable Exposure Risk Assessment to download – for use by employers in their compliance. We expect additional training tools to be released in the coming weeks including, model Infection Control Plans, videos for use in employee training and a sample/model Employee Notification Policy.
Update as of 10.28.20
There is a lot going on right now at the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and we wanted to provide a direct update to summarize all the activity. There are 3 separate public processes occurring at Oregon OSHA. Please take a look below and click through on any link if the issue is one you wish to provide comment on. If you’re interested in ORLA's perspective on each item, see the “ORLA Notes” with each paragraph below.
(1) COVID-19 Temporary Rulemaking
Oregon OSHA has initiated a process to create an infectious disease control standard temporary rule for all workplaces in Oregon. The process has included taking Phase 2 guidelines for our industry from the Oregon Health Authority and housing them at Oregon OSHA in a temporary rule format. By law, temporary rules can last no longer than 180 days.
(2) Penalties – Increasing Minimum and Maximum Penalties
At the same time – and completely unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic or the COVID-19 temporary rulemaking, Oregon OSHA is coming to the end of an eight-month period of public comment on changes to the existing penalty rules, including an increase in the maximum penalties that align Oregon penalties with federal OSHA as directed by both Congress and the Oregon Legislative Assembly.
(3) Employer Knowledge/Employer Responsibility
The Employer Knowledge rulemaking has been on a similar time frame as the Penalties Rulemaking, but they are actually two distinct rulemaking proposals.
In this rulemaking, Oregon OSHA proposes to add two definitions and a paragraph to the Division 1 rules. The Oregon Supreme Court in CBI Services v. Oregon OSHA determined that Oregon OSHA needs to more clearly define how “reasonable diligence” and “unpreventable employee misconduct” are interpreted and applied in enforcement activities and Oregon OSHA believes that such guidance is most appropriately provided through an administrative rule. The proposed additions to the rules are to clarify in general how Oregon OSHA assesses an employer’s reasonable diligence, what constitutes unpreventable employee misconduct, how Oregon OSHA assesses an employer’s knowledge of a violation, and when an employer is and is not responsible for a violation that has occurred on its worksite. After spending several years developing the proposal, Oregon OSHA is coming to the end of an eight-month period of public comment on these proposed changes.
Please take action and make a difference if you can.