The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division has amended its rule (OAR 437-001-0744), which covers requirements for masks, physical distancing, and cleaning to combat COVID-19. The amended rule went into effect Dec. 21, 2021.
Previous rule: Employers were required to regularly clean and sanitize all common areas. In addition, employers must clean and disinfect common areas, high-touch-surfaces, and any shared equipment under the employer’s control that a person who has COVID-19 either used or had direct physical contact with, depending on the timing of the exposure.
What’s changed: The amended final rule now only requires employers in healthcare settings to regularly clean or sanitize all common areas. However, employers must provide employees time and supplies to clean more frequently than required, or if they use shared equipment. Employers are still required to clean and disinfect areas known to be infected with COVID-19.
What’s changed: Employers must provide masks, face coverings or shields at no cost and allow an employee to wear a face covering even when it is not required. They must also implement the indoor mask requirements of OR. Admin. R. 333-019-1025, unless the person is:
- Under 5 years of age (or under 2 years of age in public transportation or transport hubs).
- Doing an activity that makes wearing a mask, face covering or face shield not feasible, for instance, while showering, eating, drinking, or sleeping.
- Is in a room or vehicle that is shared solely with members of the same household; or
- Is required to briefly remove their mask, face covering, or face shield because their identity needs to be confirmed, such as security checks at banks or with law enforcement. While the covering is removed, the person should limit their speaking.
Under the amended rule, healthcare employers must also ensure that all individuals in the workplace wear a mask, face covering, or face shield when:
- Working inside and social distancing of six feet can’t be consistently maintained; or
- An employee shares a room with one or more others and the total square feet does not provide at least 100 square feet per person.
Existing rule: All employers must ensure social distancing of six feet from co-workers.
What’s changed: Oregon OSHA only requires the implementation of social distancing in healthcare and transit settings. All healthcare employers must ensure that work activities and workflows eliminate the need for an employee to be within six feet of another person to perform their duties unless the employer determines and can show that social distancing is not feasible for certain work activities.
Protected benefits for medical removal:
Existing rule: Employees ordered to quarantine or isolate by a healthcare or local public official (medical removal) must be permitted to return to their previous duties, if still available, without any adverse action because they had to quarantine or isolate.
What’s changed: Certain healthcare employers with more than 10 employees must provide the following benefits to employees who are engaged in direct patient care or in direct support of such care if the employee undergoes medical removal:
- The benefits the employee would normally be entitled to while working.
- Employers with 500 or more employees: The same regular (non-overtime) pay the employee would have received had the employee not been absent from work, up to a maximum of $1,400 per week, until the employee is able to return to work; or
- Employers with fewer than 500 employees: The same benefits as required by employers with 500 or more employees, but starting the third week of an employee’s removal, an employer may reduce the pay to two-thirds of the same regular pay the employee would have received had they not been absent from work, up to $200 per day (generally $1,000 per week).
Note: Employers will only be responsible for compensating the amount they owe, less the amount of compensation for lost earnings that an employee receives from any other source.
Oregon employers should train employees on the updated COVID-19 information and safety requirements and ensure that their health and safety policies align with the amended regulations. Please contact your dedicated ADP® Service Representative with any questions.