• Welcome to the
    Grants Pass & Josephine County Chamber of Commerce!

    Mission: We support and promote our local commerce through communication, advocacy and partnerships!

    Still advocating for you and your business. 

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    OCTOBER 2020

    YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION IS NEEDED!

    Comments are due by October 30th.  

    Amidst the chaos of the global pandemic, OR-OSHA is moving forward with proposed changes to two administrative rules that would stack the deck against employers: OR-OSHA’s Proposed Amendments in General Administrative Rules to Clarify Employer’s Responsibilities and OR-OSHA’s Proposed Increase of Certain Minimum and Maximum Penalties for Alleged Violations.

     

    These rule changes are about agency convenience in contested cases, NOT about employee safety.

    Oregon law says that for an employer to be liable for a serious violation, OR-OSHA must prove that the employer knew, or with the “exercise of reasonable diligence” could have known, of the violation. Recently, the Oregon Supreme Court made clear that the burden is on OR-OSHA to prove what is "reasonable" and what is "diligence" under the circumstances of each case. But these rules will change that Court ruling.

     

    1. OR-OSHA’s proposed rule redefines “reasonable diligence” to make employers strictly liable, so that the agency can easily win a contested case.

    2. It also makes the “unpreventable employee conduct” defense entirely useless.

    3. In a different rulemaking, OR-OSHA’s Administrator is given unlimited discretion to impose huge penalties: $13,538 for any “serious” violation and up to $135,382 for any “willful” violation. These enormous fines could be assessed for just two paperwork violations!

    Without strong opposition, OR-OSHA will adopt these rule changes at the end of October! Oregon’s businesses are already under immense pressure from OR-OSHA and are struggling to stay afloat during COVID-19. Without your immediate action, employers could be subject to strict liability and sweeping fines!

     

    OPPOSE these proposed rule changes. Letters should be submitted to:

     

    Department of Consumer and Business Services/Oregon OSHA

    350 Winter Street NE

    Salem, OR 97301-3882

    E-mail – tech.web@oregon.gov

     

    You can also click on the button below to submit your comments today.

    2020 - July

    HOSTING

    OR-OSHA holds stakeholder meetings on proposed
    Infectious Disease Standard Rules
     
    OR-OSHA stakeholder meetings schedule
     
    MUST REGISTER IN ADVANCE TO
    ATTEND VIRTUAL MEETINGS 
    
    Wednesday, July 22, from 1:00 - 2:30pm: General Retail Workplace
    Register in advance for this meeting:
     
    Thursday, July 23, from 1:00 - 2:30pm: General Office
    Register in advance for this meeting:
     
    Tuesday, July 28, from 8:00 - 9:30am: Food & Beverage 
    Pre-Register via Zoom at the following link:
     
    Tuesday, July 28, from 10:30am - 12:00pm: Lodging
     Pre-Register via Zoom at the following link:
     
    Oregon OSHA is in the process of developing temporary rule to address COVID-19 and other airborne infectious diseases (i.e. TB, influenza, H1N1, etc.) in the workplace. The plan is to make a permanent rule next Spring.
     
    Oregon OSHA is responding to the request from the AFL-CIO that the state adopt an enforceable workplace health rule on an emergency basis this summer, to be replaced by a permanent rule in 2021. Oregon OSHA is pursuing a rule that would apply to both health care and to the general workplace.
     
    Note that OR-OSHA already has broad authority to enforce workplace standards under its "General Duty" authority, and the agency is currently issuing violations against workplaces that fail to comply with the Governor's Executive Orders and Oregon Health Authority guidelines. Additionally, Oregon employers aren't asking OR-OSHA to adopt new regulations that will be difficult to change as our understanding of COVID-19 evolves. These workplaces have sounded the alarm that the cumulative impact of new regulations during COVID-19 is making it an impossible environment for businesses to recover. Enough is enough.
     
    The temporary rule will focus on the measures necessary to address COVID-19, and the permanent rule will likely continue some of those measures but also will be much broader to address future airborne infectious disease outbreaks as well.
     
    Oregon OSHA will be holding a series of stakeholder forums over the next two weeks. OSCC encourages chambers and their members to participate in a sector-specific forum on the impact of a temporary AND permanent infectious disease standard for Oregon workplaces. You must register to participate.
     
    Although each stakeholder discussion will explore issues of concern to the particular industries or activities reflected by the participants, the following general questions will help Oregon OSHA craft a draft temporary rule addressing the COVID-19 emergency for further review by the public and stakeholders.
     
    Question 1: Are there requirements imposed by current OHA guidance that seem excessive or unnecessary?
     
    Question 2: Are there issues in your industry or workplace that are not adequately addressed by existing requirements?
     
    Question 3: Are there apparent contradictions or inconsistencies in requirements that do not make sense to you?
     
    Question 4: If a rule is adopted, what are the two or three things that you think are most important for the rule to address?
     
    Question 5: What are the two or three areas where you think employers most need help to keep their workers safe?

     

     

    2020 - June

     

    Oregon State Chamber of Commerce
    503-363-2182 
    867 Liberty Street NE, Salem 97301