On November 6, 2020, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“Oregon OSHA”) adopted a final version of the Temporary Rule Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks (“Temporary Rule”) which becomes effective November 16, 2020, and is expected to remain in effect through May 4, 2021. The Temporary Rule includes mandates for face masks, physical distancing and sanitation, and also requires employers conduct a risk assessment and create an infection control plan.  There are also specific deadlines by which certain requirements must be met. 

Who do the Requirements apply to?

All employers with an Oregon workplace and at least one Oregon employee.

What does the Temporary Rule require?

The following briefly summarizes the key requirements of the Temporary Rule:

  • Physical Distancing, Face Coverings and Sanitation – Employers must ensure the following: work activities permit six-foot physical distancing; masks be worn on the premises; face masks/coverings be provided to employees at no cost; employees have sanitation supplies and time to wash hands; and they must regularly sanitize all high-touch and common areas every 24 hours (or 8 hours depending on workplace occupancy).
  • Ventilation – Employers must work to maximize ventilation in the workplace and work to optimize outdoor air flow through HVAC systems and ensure proper maintenance.
  • Exposure Risk Assessment – Employers must conduct a COVID-19 exposure risk assessment using specific criteria and addressing specific questions set out in the Temporary Rule such as sanitation measures and availability of modified physical distancing. Workplaces with more than 10 employees in Oregon must document their COVID-19 exposure risk assessment in writing.
  • Infection Control Plan – Employers must establish an infection control plan based on their risk factors from the exposure risk assessment required by the Temporary Rule. Workplaces with more than 10 employees in Oregon must document their COVID-19 infection-control plans in writing and ensure that a copy is accessible to employees.
  • Infection Notification Process – Employers must implement a process to timely notify employees if they had contact with an individual that tested positive for COVID-19 within 24 hours of the employer learning of the test result.
  • Training and Posting Requirement – All employers are required to post the official poster in a conspicuous place and it must be electronically provided to all remote employees. Employers must also provide information and training on COVID-19 and on the workplace requirements of the Temporary Rule.

Employer Considerations

Now more than ever, employers need to be careful to monitor and protect against the potential of COVID-19 at the workplace. The California requirements demonstrate the potential for employers to have more legal exposure, which is why we recommend having clear return to work policies and COVID-19 tracking mechanisms in place. The tracking and resource capability of Sequoia’s Return to Work Center can provide a streamlined solution to address these new challenges and help your business more confidently stay compliant. Please reach out to our Sequoia Client Service team to learn more about how Return to Work Center can assist you. 

Additional Resources

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, medical or tax advice. It provides general information and is not intended to encompass all compliance and legal obligations that may be applicable. This information and any questions as to your specific circumstances should be reviewed with your respective legal counsel and/or tax advisor as we do not provide legal or tax advice. Please note that this information may be subject to change based on legislative changes. © 2020 Sequoia Benefits & Insurance Services, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Lizet Ramirez – Lizet is a Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia One, where she works with our clients to optimize and streamline benefits compliance. In her free time, Lizet enjoys live music, travel, hiking and spa days.