Oregon OSHA adopts COVID-19 rule
The rule was adopted May 4. Oregon OSHA made some adjustments from the temporary rule, though much of it remains unchanged. Here’s what you need to know.
posted May 06, 2021
Update: The CDC announced on May 13 that it is safe for fully vaccinated people to take their masks off in most indoor settings. Following CDC guidance, Gov. Kate Brown announced on May 14 that masks would not be required for fully vaccinated people in Oregon in "most public settings." Guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon OSHA followed.
Oregon OSHA adopted a rule on May 4 to address COVID-19 workplace risks. This rule replaces the temporary rule adopted in November 2020. Oregon OSHA indicated it will repeal this rule once it is no longer necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon OSHA states that several stakeholder groups will meet beginning in July and at least every two months thereafter, to discuss whether all or part of the rule can and should be repealed.
Key protection measures remain, including physical distancing, use of face coverings, employee training, notification procedures, risk assessment, and infection control planning. However, the rule also includes some changes.
Read a summary of changes and important details below. You can read the full text of the rule here.
Sanitation: The rule reduces the frequency of surface cleaning to every 24 hours as a minimum, in the absence of other requirements. The CDC recently updated its guidance to significantly reduce sanitation expectations. The rule reflects the most up-to-date CDC guidance.
Transportation: Oregon OSHA encourages, but does not require, employers to consider alternatives to transporting multiple persons where practical.
Vaccination: Oregon OSHA is not encouraging employers to distinguish between workers based on vaccination status, and there is no mention of vaccination in the rule. See additional guidance from OHA and Oregon OSHA on masking and distancing guidelines for vaccinated people.
Clarifying requirements: The Exposure Risk Assessment, Infection Control Plan, and Infection Control Training provisions are still required as they were in the temporary rule but do not need to be revised or repeated.
Exposure records: COVID-19 exposure records make it clear that the recordkeeping provisions may apply when written records are created.
Face coverings and distancing: Basic requirements related to facial coverings and physical distancing continue. As of May 19, an employer who requests and reviews verification of vaccination may permit fully vaccinated individuals with such proof of vaccination to go without a mask, face covering, or face shield, and does not need to enforce physical distancing requirements for such individuals. See guidance from OHA and Oregon OSHA for more information.
Ventilation: Employers with more than 10 employees must certify in writing that they are running their ventilation system in accordance with the rule to the best of their knowledge. Quarterly, all employers must ensure the system optimizes outside air (when the air quality index is good or moderate) and maintain filters to ensure air intakes are clean and free of debris. Good air quality is 0 to 50 on the index. Moderate is 51 to 100. Check Oregon DEQ's air quality map for current levels.
Quarantine: Written notification of return rights when employees must quarantine is required. The rule also encourages, but does not require, employers to provide details about leave options. All other requirements remain.
PPE: Certain exceptional risk employers are required to have a written PPE supply and crisis management plan. All other requirements remain.
Respirators: Health care employers are required to provide respirators to employees working with known or suspected COVID-19 positive patients unless such respirators are unavailable. All other requirements remain.
K-12 educational institutions: Language regarding cohorts and square footage limitations related to physical distancing has been removed.
Key dates: Respiratory protection for direct patient care is required by May 17. Ventilation, transportation, employee notification, and the PPE supply and crisis management plan requirements are all effective June 3.
Six sections were removed from the appendix, including specific guidance on:
- Outdoor and Indoor Markets
- Indoor and Outdoor Entertainment Facilities
- Outdoor Recreation Organizations; Collegiate, Semi-Professional and Minor League Sports
- Employers Operating Licensed Swimming Pools, Licensed Spa Pools, and Sports Courts
- Institutions of Higher Education
We're here to help.
Our safety team is here if you need help understanding and implementing the rule in your workplace. Call 877.242.5211 to speak to one of our safety management consultants or contact your consultant directly if you already have one assigned to you.
SAIF continuously updates our COVID-19 resources, and you and can find them at saif.com/coronavirussafety.