Oregon OSHA Proposes New COVID-19 Guidelines

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has proposed new COVID-19 requirements for all workplaces that would supplement existing guidelines for personal services providers. You can submit your comments regarding the proposed requirements through September 7, 2020, to Oregon OSHA’s rulemaking team by email at tech.web@oregon.gov. Below is a summary of the proposed guidelines:

Subsection (2): All workplaces

Under the proposed requirements, all workplaces must ensure the following safety measures are met:

  • Six-foot distancing between individuals created by an impermeable barrier
  • Face coverings must be worn whenever six-foot distancing cannot be maintained, and worn by employees, clients, and other visitors
  • Face coverings must be either medical-grade masks; cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth; or face shields that cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the sides of the face
  • All high-contact surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned, and all shared equipment must be cleaned before being used by another employee
  • A “social distancing officer” must be designated in establishments with 25 employees or more to ensure appropriate social distancing, face covering use, and sanitation measures are being followed
  • The COVID-19 Hazards Poster provided by the OSHA must be posted in a central location where workers can see it
  • Workers must report signs/symptoms of COVID-19, and employers must explain paid leave policies in addition to the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA)

Subsection (3): Additional requirements for workplaces with heightened risk

Massage therapists, estheticians, hair professionals, and nail professionals would have to follow the proposed requirements listed under Subsection (3) because they perform close contact, person-to-person services that require a practitioner to be within six feet of an individual “for longer than 15 minutes and that include the direct touching of the individual with the employee’s hands or by the use of instruments or tools.” In addition to the requirements for all workplaces in Subsection (2), the proposed guidelines would require the following:

  • Each employer must conduct a COVID-19 exposure risk assessment that includes the name(s), job title(s), and contact information of the person(s) who performed the risk assessment, and the date it was completed. The exposure risk assessment considers these risk elements:
    • The anticipated or actual working distance between employees and non-employees
    • The social distancing, face covering, and sanitation measures developed and implemented to minimize exposure to COVID-19
    • The frequency, duration, and variety of close contact, person-to-person services performed by employees
    • The effectiveness of hazard control measures to minimize exposure to COVID-19
  • Enhanced employee information and training that includes a copy of these guidelines and an explanation of:
    • Contact, droplet, and airborne modes of transmission
    • The employer’s exposure risk assessment, sanitation policies, and hazard control measures implemented
    • The types, use, storage, removal, handling, and maintenance of face coverings

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