This update was originally distributed by Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) in its Captiol Connect Newsletter on Monday, May 16, 2022.
Oregon OSHA adopted administrative rules last week to protect employees from excessive heat and smoke. The heat rules include requirements to provide access to shade and water. They also require employers to provide paid breaks of increasing length as heat intensifies. The smoke rules require exposure assessments, training and compel employers to mandate mask usage under certain conditions. The heat rules will take effect June 15, and the smoke rules will take effect July 1.
Both sets of rules could create compliance problems for employers, as we noted frequently during their development. The rest breaks required by the heat rules are likely to disrupt productivity and could prompt employers to cancel work entirely when temperatures are likely to be high. The smoke rules, meanwhile, require employers to compel employees to use protective masks during certain conditions.