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COVID safety requirements trimmed for employer-provided housing

Posted On: Oct. 12, 2022 11:08 AM CST


The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division on Monday announced scaled-back COVID-19 protections for employer-provided labor housing, removing provisions deemed “no longer appropriate to this stage of the pandemic.”

The changes, which went into effect Oct. 7, were in response to the state’s announcement of updated health guidance on Feb. 28 and direction from the Oregon Health Authority and followed a series of public hearings.

The changes included removing the air-purification requirement for spaces where people sleep, physical distancing monitoring, modified pandemic-related cleaning and sanitation practices, and rules on non-employer-provided transportation for labor housing.

An employee who chooses to wear a mask, face shield or other face covering, even when it is not required, must be allowed to do so, according to the changes.

Oregon OSHA said the changes “represent a significant removal of COVID-19 requirements and are a major step forward towards the full repeal of the rule. As stated in the rule, Oregon OSHA will repeal the rule when it is no longer necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic.”