The COVID-19 emergency has highlighted the risks that any infectious disease, particularly one that is airborne, can create for a wide variety of workplaces. As a result of both the immediate and long-term risks highlighted by the current public and occupational health crisis, Oregon OSHA is responding to the request that the state adopt an enforceable workplace health rule on an emergency basis this summer, to be replaced by a permanent rule. This high-level timeline treats these as two essentially different projects, in both nature and scope, recognizing that an ongoing infectious disease rule would not be as closely tailored to the current crisis as would a temporary rule. It also assumes health care (and related activities) and the general workplace would require distinct (although interrelated) sets of requirements.
In both cases, Oregon OSHA plans to rely upon as much collaboration and consultation with experts and with stakeholders as the timeframes involved and other circumstances allow. In the case of the temporary rule(s) this will primarily be through targeted virtual forums and the circulation of a draft prior to a decision on adoption. In the case of the permanent rule(s), Oregon OSHA will be empaneling two rulemaking advisory committees in addition to employing targeted virtual forums and circulation of preproposal drafts.
Oregon OSHA's Draft COVID-19 Temporary Standard (August 17, 2020)
Potential Oregon OSHA Rulemaking Timeline (updated Sept. 10)
Virtual Forums Dates and Links
Initial Background Paper on Oregon OSHA Infectious Disease Rulemaking
Initial Background Paper on Oregon OSHA Infectious Disease Health Care Rulemaking
Decision-making Framework on COVID-19 Temporary Rulemaking