OHA lifts indoor mask requirements: What this means for your business

OHA and Oregon OSHA’s mask rule will change beginning March 12.

Mask guidelines

Updated March 1: OHA changed the date they would be lifting mask requirements to March 12.

Updated Feb. 24: OHA changed the date they would be lifting mask requirements from "on or before March 31" to March 19.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced that beginning March 12, masks will no longer be required in public indoor settings. 

Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defers to OHA on the issue of masks and public health COVID-related requirements. OHA has indicated they plan to lift mask requirements for schools and indoor public spaces. Continued masking is recommended for those who are unvaccinated or are vulnerable in other ways. For more details and a list of settings that may require additional guidance, visit Oregon Mask Requirements (egov.com). 

“We recommend employers continue to follow public health guidance and use a reasonable and thoughtful approach to protecting their workers,” says Kim Henry, industrial hygienist at SAIF. “We encourage employers to consider their entire workforce when implementing protective measures, including masks.” 

Controlling infection at your workplace 

Employers are still responsible for having and adhering to an infection control plan for their workers and workplace. 

SAIF encourages policyholders to evaluate their workplaces and processes and decide which pieces of the “layered approach” are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19, even if they are not required by law. These can include physical distancing, masks, encouraging workers to get vaccinated, air filtration, and increased dilution ventilation.  

“As with other hazards, implementing exposure controls is key to mitigating any workplace risk,” Henry says. “This includes knowing your worksite and workflow, making sound decisions, and implementing effective controls that ensure your employees stay safe and healthy.” 

Where to learn more 

Information on masks and other COVID-19 requirements can change rapidly. For the most current information, see Oregon OSHA’s COVID-19 page. 

You can find more resources on preventing the spread of infection in the workplace at saif.com/controlinfection.