Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Guide

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health is the state's agency that regulates workplace safety. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it enforced rules requiring employers to use masks and implement social distancing in their workplaces.

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) is a state agency charged with setting and enforcing workplace standards, providing training and education, and conducting inspections. It operates under a state plan approved by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In addition to setting standards, Oregon OSHA also provides education, consultation, and outreach services. These programs help employers comply with occupational safety and health laws and identify and correct potential hazards. They are funded in part by employers’ workers’ compensation premium assessments.

The agency’s primary office is located in Salem. Oregon OSHA’s enforcement activities are carried out by a number of trained compliance officers who are primarily responsible for conducting inspections. These investigations are conducted without advance notice and prioritized based on severity. The most common violations are backover, which occurs when a reversing vehicle hits a worker behind it, and fall prevention in construction. Other violations include hazardous waste handling and storage, ergonomics, and respiratory protection. The agency’s website contains additional resources and safety news. The online 10 and 30-hour training courses offered on this site are OSHA-authorized and meet the requirements for Oregon OSHA certification.

Oregon OSHA Reporting Requirements

If you have a work-related accident, you must report it to Oregon OSHA. This includes fatalities, in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and loss of an eye. You also need to report work-related illnesses, such as significant progressive diseases like byssinosis or silicosis, and some severe injuries, such as punctured eardrums or broken bones. These cases are called “catastrophes.” You must review your OSHA 300 log at the end of each calendar year to ensure that you have recorded all injuries and illnesses. At the same time, you must prepare an OSHA 300A summary of the year’s entries.

In addition to reporting work-related accidents, you must inspect your workplace and act on the findings of the inspection. Depending on the results, you may be required to take steps to prevent similar accidents from occurring. In addition, you must provide emergency showers and eye-wash stations where employees could be exposed to hazardous materials that might get on their skin or in their eyes. Lastly, you must provide access to your injury and illness records to current and former employees and their authorized representatives.

Oregon OSHA Safety Committees
Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) Guide 1

Oregon OSHA Safety Committees

Safety committees and safety meetings aim to bring workers and management together in a non-adversarial, cooperative effort to promote workplace safety and health. They help to identify hazards and make recommendations for improvement in working conditions and practices. They also help educate employees about the hazards they may face in their jobs.

The central committee shall consist of the County Safety Officer and not more than twelve members representing both employer and employee groups. The County will try to have one member of the committee represent each major work activity and department, including those with high-risk occupations. The committee members will be compensated at their regular hourly rate for time spent on safety committee activities and training.

The central committee will establish policies, set direction, perform inspections, and evaluate accident prevention programs. It will work closely with the Board of Commissioners, the department heads and their safety committees, and employees. Safety will be an integral part of all operations and is considered to be everyone’s responsibility. The goal is to achieve zero accidents and injuries.

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