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Oregon OSHA adopts permanent covid safety rule



The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division on Thursday announced a permanent rule to provide workers with continued protection from the spread of COVID-19 while reducing contact tracing and testing requirements.

Oregon OSHA said the rule represents “substantial changes and reductions” made to its interim rule and that the new rule removes indoor masking requirements as well as most of “other regulations that are no longer appropriate at this stage of the pandemic.”

The mask mandates will remain in place for workplaces deemed to be of exceptional risk, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, dental offices, urgent care, dialysis centers and emergency medical personnel. Employers must provide masks in these settings.

Employers with exceptional risk workplaces are no longer required to screen and triage all individuals entering healthcare settings for symptoms of covid-1

9, and exposure notification is no longer required in healthcare settings. Physical distancing and contact tracing are also no longer required in healthcare settings.

Employees in other workplaces who choose to wear a mask, face shield or face shield, even when not required, shall be permitted by the employer to do so. And when an employee chooses to wear a filtering respirator, the employer must authorize that use and comply with the “voluntary use” provisions of the respirator standard.

Employers requiring covid-19 tests for workers must cover the costs of those tests, including time and travel.

The new rule says employers “should” continue to optimize the use of ventilation systems to help reduce the risk of covid-19 transmission and follow public health or physician recommendations for isolation or quarantine of employees for covid-19 and notify workers who have had a potential work-related exposure to covid-19 within 24 hours.


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