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Oregon OSHA extends COVID-19 workplace protections


The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division said Tuesday it has adopted a new rule to maintain its temporary COVID-19 workplace protections.

The rule, which took effect Tuesday, includes such health protection measures as physical distancing; the use of face coverings; employee notification and training; formal exposure risk assessment and infection control planning; and optimization and maintenance of existing ventilation systems, according to the announcement.

The rule is similar to that which Oregon OSHA adopted in 2020 with a May 4, 2021, expiration date. It includes several changes based on two months of public comments received since it was proposed in late January but “the basic requirements are largely consistent with those that have been in place,” the agency said.

Oregon OSHA said one of the “most significant areas of public comment concerned the lack of a specific sunset date or other trigger to automatically repeal the rule.”

Because it “determined it is not possible to assign a specific time for a decision to repeal the rule,” the agency has “committed to consulting with the Oregon OSHA Partnership Committee, the two Infectious Disease Rulemaking Advisory Committees, the Oregon Health Authority, and other stakeholders to help determine when the rule can be repealed.”

The first of these discussions will take place no later than July 2021 and will continue every two months until the rule has been repealed, according to the announcement.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here



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