Oregon OSHA new workplace safety measures in effect

MEDFORD, Ore.– OSHA released a 100 page document this month, detailing Covid-19 guidelines by industry.
It says the additional guidelines, which take affect Monday, are part of an effort to curb the spread of the disease at the workplace.
Aaron Corvin, public information officer for OSHA said, “In a non-pandemic year, we usually get around 2 thousand complaints. Since March, we’ve gotten over 12,000.”
The new changes will require businesses to educate employees on Covid-preventative measures and notify them when they have any positive cases within 24 hours.
The employer must have advanced sanitation of work stations, adequate physical distancing between workers, and provide cost-free personal protective equipment to employees.
Bill Thorndike, owner of Medford Fabrication said, “This will help us protect our employees, their families, our customers, we’re creating a healthier workplace as we move forward.”
Medford Fabrication in downtown Medford says with only 30 employees and a 100,000 sq. foot warehouse, social distancing isn’t an issue.
It says its more worried about limited resources effecting time management.
“This adds additional time to our work, we have to utilize more vehicles to get the employees on site,” said Thorndike.
Construction companies in the area say a large majority of their employees are impacted by the rules.
Knife River Construction says it’s prepared for additional changes.
“I think this is a good opportunity for us to dig back in, reevaluate what’s working, what isn’t, and to keep putting our best foot forward,” said Tony Spilde, spokesperson for Knife River Construction.
OSHA’s rule for construction sites reinforces clear signage on company property reminding workers to keep distance from one another… And always wear a face covering.
It also says employers must develop an advanced screening system for all on-site employees and visitors something knife river’s already doing.
“We’ve had an absence from work questionnaire available that we ask our team to fill out if they’ve been away from work with Covid related questions for them to answer to make sure its ok for them to come back into the workplace,” said Spilde.
More about the rules can be found at https://osha.Oregon.Gov/osharules/div1/437-001-0744.Pdf.

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