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New COVID workplace rules and hearings

New proposed COVID workplace rules and hearings

Oregon OSHA is proposing to extend protective measures against COVID-19 for workers who rely on housing provided by employers, including as part of farming operations. The risk-reducing measures – which include new options and updates – cover everything from physical distancing and ventilation to face coverings and sanitation.

The proposed permanent rule will receive three virtual public hearings later this month and a comment period through April 16. Oregon OSHA expects to repeal the rule once it is no longer needed to address the coronavirus pandemic in the context of labor housing.

The proposed rule would replace the current labor-housing requirements established through Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order, issued in October 2020. That order lasts through April 30. It effectively maintained COVID-19 safety measures that Oregon OSHA adopted on a temporary basis in April 2020, which otherwise expired Oct. 24, 2020.

While largely similar to previous requirements, the proposed rule includes new options and updates. The changes reflect experiences under the previous safety measures. They also speak to the evolving nature of COVID-19 risks.

The proposed requirements include rules to address ventilation, masks, physical distancing and sanitation.

Virtual public hearings will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 25; 10 a.m. Friday, March 26; and 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 30.

Details on how to sign up for the hearings – as well as other options for commenting on the proposed rule – are now available. The comment period will close Friday, April 16.

Meanwhile, the division continues to take public comments on its proposed permanent rule extending protections against COVID-19 in all workplaces. Learn more about the division’s workplace guidance and resources related to COVID-19.

Click here for links to the new regulations and opportunties for public comment: