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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has directed the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration to enact emergency rules to protect workers from extreme heat, the governor’s office said in a statement Tuesday.
Oregon and other states in the Pacific Northwest have recently seen temperatures in the 100s — high above average. In Multnomah County, which includes Portland, the state’s largest city, last week attributed more than 50 deaths to the recent heat wave.
Gov. Brown has asked that temporary rules expand requirements for employers to provide shade, rest time and cool water for workers during “high and extreme heat events,” and that Oregon OSHA continue working on a permanent heat-related rule. The temporary standards are expected to be adopted this fall.
State agencies have also been directed to create an after-action review of how they can improve response efforts during a heat wave and better protect the health of low-income residents during extreme weather events.