I work in a small medical office that is in one of our company's two leased buildings. Unfortunately, a number of mice and rats have found both buildings to their liking and have been running around for about a year. The landlord put traps down but the wily rodents ignore them. I am concerned that they may pose serious health hazards for our patients – and us. Does Oregon OSHA have rules for rodents?
Oregon OSHA requires that workplaces be constructed, equipped, and maintained, so far as reasonably practicable, to prevent the entrance or harborage of rodents, insects, and other vermin. When such pests find a workplace to their liking – as in your case – your employer must start an effective extermination program to subdue them. If the landlord's traps are not effective, your employer is responsible for controlling them. If you have not done so, report the problem to your safety committee and ask your employer to contact the county health department, which may also have suggestions for controlling rodents.
You will find the requirements for controlling rodents in Division 2, Subdivision J, Sanitation – 1910.141(a)(5).
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