New COVID-19 Oregon OSHA Temporary Rules and Policies for Employees

Beginning on November 16, 2020, the new Oregon OSHA temporary rules regarding COVID-19 need to be followed.  The complete temporary rules can be found at  The new rules have various dates that all employers need to be aware of.

Effective November 16, 2020

  • Physical distancing in the workplace
    • Employers must ensure 6 feet of physical distance between all individuals in the workplace unless you can prove it is not feasible for certain activities.
  • Masks, face shields, and face coverings
    • Employers must ensure that all individuals at the workplace who are not actively eating, drinking, or smoking wear a mask, face shield or face covering. Masks, face shield or face coverings are not required when an individual is stationed at a workstation not used by others.
  • COVID-19 infection notification process
    • Employers must establish a process to notify exposed employees of a work-related contact with an individual that has tested positive for COVID-19
    • Oregon OSHA has released a sample Model-COVID-19-Notification-Policy
  • Medical removal of employee
  • Workplace cleaning requirements
    • Employers must regularly clean common areas, shared equipment, and high-touch areas at least once every 24 hours if the workplace is occupied fewer than 12 hours during a day or at least once every 8 hours while in use, if the workplace is occupied more than 12 hours a day.
  • Poster requirement
    • Employers are required to post the COVID-19 Hazard Poster in a central location where all employees can see it.

Effective December 7, 2020

  • COVID-19 exposure risk assessment
    • All employers must conduct a COVID-19 exposure risk assessment. The assessment requires feedback and participation by employees. After feedback is gathered employers with 10 or more employees or employers with an exceptional risk workplace must document their COVID-19 risk assessment in writing. It needs to include:
      • The name(s), job title(s), and contact information of the person(s) who performed the exposure risk assessment;
      • The date the exposure risk assessment was completed;
      • The employee job classifications that were evaluated; and
      • A summary of the employer’s answers to 13 specific exposure risk assessment questions.
    • Infection control plan
      • All employers must establish and implement an infection control plan.

Effective December 21, 2021

  • Employee information and training
    • Training must include the following elements:
      • Physical distancing requirements
      • Mask, face covering, or face shield requirements
      • COVID-19 sanitation requirements
      • COVID-19 signs and symptom reporting procedures
      • COVID-19 infection notification process
      • Medical removal
      • The symptoms of COVID-19
      • The ability of pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic COVID-19 persons to transmit the virus
      • Safe and healthy work practices and control measures

Effective January 6, 2021

  • Ventilation requirements
    • Employers must maximize the amount of outside air circulation through their existing HVAC system when employees are present in the workplace.

All employers need to make sure they are creating a set of COVID-19 policies that employees review and acknowledge.  We do not recommend adding these to your employee handbook.  Areas to cover are:

  • Dress code changes due to COVID-19.
  • Attendance – you want to document the requirements for when individuals are sick and your notification process if there are any changes due to COVID-19.
  • FFCRA leave – provide employees with the required poster for FFCRA as well as the system for requesting FFCRA leave.
  • Reduced hours and furloughs – document how these decisions will be made and what benefits will continue during a furlough.
  • Any other employee handbook policies that have changed temporarily due to COVID-19.

If you would like samples of any of these policies or forms required for the employee handbook addendum, please let us know.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail.