Oregon OSHA updates COVID-19 rule in response to declining cases

Read more about the new rule and how it affects your workplace.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) removed mask requirements and most other provisions from its rule that addresses COVID-19 risks in the workplace.  

In an announcement on March 18, Oregon OSHA said the changes to the rule were in response to decreasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. This is following the announcement made by Gov. Kate Brown at the direction of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) that masks would no longer be required in public indoor places and schools starting March 12. 

The updated rule also says: 

  • Employers must allow workers to voluntarily use facial coverings and provide facial coverings to workers for free.  
  • Employers who require COVID-19 testing must cover the cost of testing for workers, including their time and travel.  
  • Employers should continue to optimize ventilation systems to reduce the risk of transmission. 
  • Employers must follow OHA and public health recommendations on isolation and quarantine. 
  • Employers must tell workers when they have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace within 24 hours. Refer to OSHA’s Model Policy for Notification of Employees when COVID-19 Exposure Occurs for more information. 

OSHA says masking and other requirements for exceptional risk workplaces, including healthcare settings and emergency medical service providers, will generally remain in place for now. See OSHA’s COVID-19 page for more specific information.

SAIF is continuing to monitor information and updates from Oregon OSHA. If you’re a policyholder with questions about how the rule impacts your workplace, we encourage you to contact your safety consultant, SAIF representative, or agent. 

You can stay current on Oregon OSHA guidance and rules on COVID-19 in the workplace by visiting the agency’s COVID-19 page.