Salem, OR — The State of Oregon’s independent advocate to help injured workers navigate the workers’ compensation system is changing its name and adding workplace safety and health as part of its services.
The Ombudsman for Injured Workers is now the Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers. It has expanded its role to also help workers protect their rights under Oregon OSHA’s laws and rules.
The Office of the Ombudsman for Injured Workers was created in 1987. Since then, it has served as an independent advocate for injured workers by helping them understand their rights and responsibilities, investigating complaints, and acting to resolve those complaints. It is an independent office that is part of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).
“We are committed to protecting workers, especially vulnerable workers, and to breaking down any barrier to workers in need of protection,” said Andrew Stolfi, DCBS director. “It’s our goal for every worker to not only be aware of their rights, but feel comfortable accessing help from the state when needed. Expanding our services will help us get closer to achieving that goal.”
Even though the office is taking on this new role, the needs of injured workers will still be met.
“We are continuing to serve injured workers in the workers’ compensation system,” said Ombuds for Oregon Workers Jennifer Flood. “We are just expanding to include all Oregon workers.”
In addition to expanding its services for helping Oregon workers understand their rights in workplace safety and health, the Ombuds Office will also work with the DCBS director and Oregon OSHA to identify ways to improve protections and interactions with workers.
The Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers can be contacted at 800-927-1271 (toll-free). Direct services are available in English and Spanish. Language service is used to help callers who speak other languages.
Workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace. That includes the right to raise concerns free from retaliation and to file a complaint with Oregon OSHA.
For more information about workplace hazards – and resources to help address them, including guides, fact sheets, and checklists – visit Oregon OSHA’s A-to-Z topic page.