Oregon: OR OSHA Permanently Adopts Some of the Temporary COVID-19 Rules

In the January 2022 Oregon Bulletin, Oregon OSHA published notice of its adoption of some of the temporary COVID-19 rules. As the emergency temporary rule could only be effective for 180 days, Oregon OSHA pursued this permanent rulemaking concurrently. While permanent, Oregon OSHA intends to repeal this rule when it is no longer necessary to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon OSHA will meet monthly with relevant stakeholders to determine when all or part of the rule can be repealed. This adopted rule does not make the entire temporary rule permanent. The adopted rule became effective on December 21, 2021.

The adopted amendments from the temporary rule include:

  • The requirement for employers with employees working in indoor workspaces to implement the Masking Requirements for Indoor Spaces, adopted by the Oregon Health Authority.
  • New or amended industry-specific guidance for K-12 Educational institutions; Transit Agencies; Emergency Medical Services; Veterinary Clinics; Personal Service Providers; Employers Operating Child Care and Early Education Programs; Law Enforcement Activities; and Jails, Prisons, and Other Custodial Institutions.
  • Specific requirements for Restaurants, Bars, Brewpubs, and Public Tasting Rooms at Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries; Retail Stores; Construction Operations; Professional, Division 1, Pac12, West Coast Conference and Big Sky Conference Sports; and Employers Operating Fitness-Related Organizations are removed.
  • Physical distance requirements are no longer in effect except for healthcare and transit settings.
  • Employers, except for those in healthcare settings, are no longer required to regularly clean or sanitize all common areas, shared equipment, and high-touch surfaces. All other sanitation requirements remain in effect for all workplaces.
  • Oregon OSHA proposing to adopt medical removal protection benefits in the healthcare sector in order to be at least as effective as the federal OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard.