OSHA Publishes Permanent COVID-19 Workplace Rules

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(Image | Courtesy of Cascade Employers Association)

On May 4, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a permanent rule addressing the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in All Oregon Workplaces.

Last winter, OSHA published a temporary rule that established various health and safety requirements for the workplace including standards for the use of face masks and other PPE requirements, physical distancing, cleaning and sanitation, risk assessments, infection notification processes, medical removal, ventilation requirements and employee training, among other requirements. The temporary rule expired on May 4 and has now been replaced by this new permanent rule.

While there are some differences between the permanent and temporary rules, they are not significant. Key differences in the rule include:

  • Ventilation: Adds a requirement that employers with more than ten employees must attest that they are running their ventilation system in accordance with the rule.
  • Return to Work Notice: Requires written notification of return rights when employees must quarantine. The rule also encourages, but does not require, employers to provide details about leave options.
  • PPE Supply: Requires certain exceptional-risk employers to have a written PPE supply and crisis management plan.
  • Sanitation: Updated language to reflect the CDC’s newest guidance to significantly reduce the sanitation expectations.
  • Risk Assessment and Infection Control Plans: The rules relating to the Risk Assessment, Infection Control Plan and Infection Control Training provisions are identical to the temporary rule. With that, actions completed under the temporary rule do not need to be revised or repeated. The final rule includes language expressly saying that these actions do not need to be repeated if they have been completed in compliance with the temporary rule.

The new rule did not make any changes to the face mask or physical-distancing requirements established in the temporary rule, nor did it make any distinctions between the application of the rules between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.

This rule will be evaluated every two months beginning in July.

Cascade Employers Association will continue to monitor this rule and provide you with updated information as it becomes available.

cascadeemployers.com

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