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Workplace safety, health training grants available (Photo) - 07/23/21

July 23, 2021

(Salem) – If you have a dazzling idea for a workplace safety or health training program, Oregon OSHA wants to hear your pitch.

The agency is accepting grant applications for the creation of innovative on-the-job safety and health training programs. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8. Oregon OSHA encourages unique projects such as mobile apps, videos, or online educational games to engage workers.

The training grants will focus on programs that target a high-hazard Oregon industry, such as construction or agriculture, or a specific work process to reduce or eliminate hazards. Any employer, labor group, school affiliated with a labor group, or nonprofit organization may apply. Applicants may request up to $40,000 per grant project.

Employers are not allowed to use grants to pay for training for their employees. Materials produced by grant recipients become the property of Oregon OSHA. Many of the materials are housed in the Oregon OSHA Resource Center and are available for use by the public. Some materials are available electronically. 

Some examples of past grant projects include:

  • Spanish-language flip charts designed to help prevent heat-related illness among forest workers
  • Creation of safe design guidelines for anchoring systems used as part of logging operations
  • An educational program for nurses to prevent ergonomic-related injuries

The Oregon Legislature launched the Occupational Safety and Health Education and Training Grant Program in 1990. Award recommendations are made by Oregon OSHA’s Safe Employment Education and Training Advisory Committee, a group with members from business, labor, and government. 

Grant application information is available at https://osha.oregon.gov/edu/grants/Pages/default.aspx. For more information, contact Teri Watson at 971-599-9638 or i.a.watson@oregon.gov">teri.a.watson@oregon.gov.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov

Three steps wildfire evacuees must take today - 07/22/21

Salem – As wildfire evacuations continue to grow, the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation is sharing three steps everyone living in the path of a wildfire should do today. 

Level 3 evacuees: 

  1. Contact your insurance company as soon as you can. Tell them you have been ordered to evacuate, and confirm your policy coverage and deductible. 
  2. Save all receipts. Many insurance companies will help cover vital expenses, such as lodging, food, and pet boarding. 
  3. Work on a home inventory list. Start building a list of your personal possessions. Organize your list by rooms, look through photos to help jog your memory, and take your time. 

Level 1 and 2 evacuees: 

  1. Contact your insurance company to check your policy. Confirm coverage and deductible, and ask about your auto coverage. You need comprehensive coverage on a vehicle.  
  2. Make a quick home inventory. Take photos of each room in your home. Do not forget storage areas, such as the attic, shed, and garage. 
  3. Build a financial backpack. Gather important legal and financial documents (Social Security cards, insurance policies, financial accounts, titles) and make copies or scan them to your phone or computer. 

Be sure to place the home inventory and copies of documents with your go-bag of emergency supplies, so you have it when it is time to evacuate. 

Completing these tasks can help save you time, money, and stress during a wildfire. 

For more disaster preparedness information visit dfr.oregon.gov/preparenow.

For more wildfire resources visit the division’s wildfire insurance resources page.

If you have questions about insurance coverage, speak to your insurance company or agent. If you still have questions or concerns, the Division of Financial Regulation consumer advocacy team can help. 

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About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov.

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Oregon OSHA ofrece recursos educativos, impulsa actividades de aplicación de la ley para abordar los peligros del estrés por calor - 07/15/21

(Salem) - Tras la adopción de los requisitos más estrictos del país para proteger a los trabajadores del  estrés por calor, Oregon OSHA ofrece recursos educativos y de capacitación para ayudar a los empleadores a cumplir con estos. Al mismo tiempo, la división aplicará con firmeza la ley en los próximos meses al reasignar inspectores, autorizar horas extras y abordar problemas de calor en conjunto con otra actividad de aplicación de la ley.

“Oregon OSHA está comprometido con un esfuerzo multifacético, que incluye educación y aplicación de la ley, con el objetivo de garantizar que los empleadores implementen los pasos específicos de esta ley de emergencia para proteger a los trabajadores de los peligros del  estrés por el calor en el trabajo”, expresó Michael Wood, administrador de Oregon OSHA. “Este fin de semana y durante los próximos meses, lanzaremos un nuevo programa de énfasis, que aumentará nuestra presencia en el campo”. 

La regla temporal de emergencia de la división (promulgada el 8 de julio) permanece vigente hasta el 3 de enero de 2022 o hasta que sea reemplazada antes por una regla permanente de prevención de estrés por el calor, que se espera que ocurra para fines de este año. La regla temporal de emergencia se aplica a cualquier lugar de trabajo (interno y externo), en donde los peligros por el calor sean causados por el clima. Los requisitos incluyen mayor acceso a sombra y agua fresca; descansos habituales para refrescarse; capacitación; comunicación; planificación de emergencia.

Los siguientes recursos de Oregon OSHA son gratuitos y ahora están disponibles para los empleadores para ayudarlos a cumplir con los requisitos de emergencia por el estrés por el calor. Estos recursos no implican faltas, citaciones ni penalidades:

Servicios de asesoría: ofrecen ayuda gratuita con programas de seguridad y salud, incluyendo cómo controlar y eliminar peligros y capacitación práctica.

Personal técnico: ayuda a los empleadores a comprender los requisitos y cómo aplicarlos en sus lugares de trabajo.

Además, el Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores y Negocios de Oregón, que incluye Oregon OSHA, mantiene un Programa de comunicaciones multiculturales que ofrece divulgación a las comunidades con dominio limitado del inglés. Esa divulgación abarca información sobre la seguridad y salud en el trabajo. El programa incluye un número de teléfono gratuito para los residentes de Oregón que hablan en español: 800-843-8086.

Además, Oregon OSHA compiló los siguientes recursos estatales y nacionales educativos y de capacitación para ayudar a los empleadores a lograr el cumplimiento y reducir el riesgo de esfuerzo por el calor de los trabajadores. Los siguientes recursos son gratuitos y ahora están disponibles en inglés y español.

Español:

Inglés:

Mientras tanto, la medida de Oregon OSHA para incrementar la actividad de aplicación en contra del esfuerzo por el calor se especifica en su nuevo programa de énfasis que se publicará en breve. El programa incluye orientación adicional para inspectores sobre los temas en los que se tienen que enfocar y cómo documentar violaciones de conformidad con los requisitos de emergencia por el estrés por el calor. Se enfoca en los esfuerzos de inspección en lo que se llevan a cabo actividades laborales al aire libre o en espacios interiores y en donde el índice de calor (la temperatura aparente) equivale a los 80 grados Fahrenheit o los supera.

En virtud de los requisitos temporales de emergencia, los empleadores deben adoptar medidas específicas cuando el índice de calor alcance o supere los 80 grados Fahrenheit, incluyendo la disposición de sombras suficientes y un suministro adecuado de agua potable. Cuando el índice de calor supere los 90 grados Fahrenheit, los empleadores deben seguir todas las reglas del umbral de 80 grados y tomar más medidas. Aquellas medidas incluyen comunicación y observación, descansos habituales para refrescarse, planificación de emergencia y adaptación gradual de los empleados al calor.

El énfasis del programa también especifica las siguientes medidas de aplicación:

  • A partir del 16 de julio de 2021 y continuando hasta al menos el 30 de septiembre de 2021, Oregon OSHA identificará más capacidades de aplicación de la ley para enfocarse en asuntos relacionados con el calor.
  • Se lograrán más capacidades de aplicación de la ley a través de la reasignación de los miembros del personal existente, el uso de las horas extras y al abordar asuntos relacionados con el calor en conjunto con otras actividades de inspección.
  • Abordar asuntos relacionados con el calor en conjunto con otras actividades de inspección incluirá, entre otros, evaluar problemas de estrés por el calor durante las inspecciones de prevención de caídas en inspecciones de saneamiento de construcción y campo en agricultura.

Los trabajadores tienen derecho a un lugar de trabajo saludable y seguro, incluso el derecho a estar seguro fuera de los peligros del esfuerzo por el calor. Tienen derecho a plantear inquietudes de seguridad y salud, sin recibir represalias. Si creen que sus inquietudes no son tratadas, tienen derecho a presentar una queja ante Oregon OSHA. La división no proporciona aviso por adelantado de inspecciones.

Las penalidades varían según las violaciones de las reglas de Oregon OSHA, en parte, según el tamaño de la empresa, el riesgo implicado y la probabilidad de que un trabajador se lastime. De conformidad con la estructura de penalidades de la división, la penalidad máxima para una violación grave que no sea una infracción deliberada o repetida es de $12,675. Una violación deliberada conlleva una penalidad máxima de $126,749.

Mientras tanto, Oregon OSHA continúa trabajando en una regla permanente de prevención de esfuerzo por el calor con miras de adoptarla este otoño. La regla temporal se adoptó posterior a la indicación de la gobernadora de Oregon, Kate Brown, de promulgar medidas de emergencia.

Los documentos de la regla de emergencia están disponibles para su revisión en las siguientes maneras:

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Oregon OSHA, una división del Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores y Negocios, hace cumplir con las normas de salud y seguridad en el lugar de trabajo del estado, y trabaja para mejorar la salud y la seguridad en el lugar de trabajo de todos los trabajadores de Oregon. Para obtener más información, visite osha.oregon.gov.

El Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores y Negocios es la agencia de protección del consumidor y regulación comercial más grande de Oregon. Para obtener más información, visite www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.  

Attached Media Files: Oregon OSHA logo , DCBS logo
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Oregon OSHA offers educational resources, boosts enforcement activity to address dangers of heat stress - 07/14/21

(Salem) – Following adoption of the nation’s strongest requirements to protect workers from heat stress, Oregon OSHA is offering educational and training resources to help employers comply. At the same time, the division will aggressively enforce the rule over the next several months by reassigning inspectors, approving overtime, and addressing heat issues in tandem with other enforcement activity.

“Oregon OSHA is committing to a multi-faceted effort, involving both education and enforcement, to ensure employers carry out the specific steps of this emergency rule to protect workers from heat stress dangers at work,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “We are launching a new emphasis program, which will increase our presence in the field this weekend and over the months ahead.” 

The division’s emergency temporary rule – enacted July 8 – remains in effect until Jan. 3, 2022, or until it is replaced sooner by a permanent heat stress prevention rule, which is expected to occur later this year. The temporary emergency rule applies to any workplace – outdoors and indoors – where heat dangers are caused by the weather. The requirements include expanded access to shade and cool water; regular cool-down breaks; training; communication; and emergency planning.

The following Oregon OSHA resources are free and available now to employers for help with complying with the emergency heat stress requirements. These resources involve no fault, no citations, and no penalties:

Consultation services – Provides free help with safety and health programs, including how to control and eliminate hazards, and hands-on training

Technical staff – Helps employers understand requirements and how to apply them to their worksites

Moreover, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which includes Oregon OSHA, maintains a Multicultural Communications Program that provides outreach to communities with limited English proficiency. That outreach encompasses information about on-the-job safety and health. The program includes a toll-free phone number for Spanish-speaking Oregonians: 800-843-8086.

Additionally, Oregon OSHA has compiled the following state and national education and training resources to help employers achieve compliance and reduce the risk of heat stress to workers. The following resources are free and available now in English and Spanish.

English:

Spanish:

Meanwhile, Oregon OSHA’s move to increase enforcement activity against heat stress is spelled out in its new, soon-to-be-released emphasis program. The program includes further guidance to inspectors on what to focus on and how to document violations under the emergency heat stress requirements. It focuses inspection efforts where either outdoor or indoor work activities are performed and where the heat index – the apparent temperature – equals or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Under the temporary emergency requirements, employers are required to take specific steps when the heat index reaches or exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit, including providing sufficient shade and an adequate supply of drinking water. When the heat index exceeds 90 degrees Fahrenheit, employers are required to follow all of the rules at the 80-degree threshold and to take more measures. Those measures include communication and observation, regular cool-down breaks, emergency planning, and gradual adaptation of employees to the heat.

The emphasis program also spells out the following enforcement moves:

  • Beginning July 16, 2021, and continuing through at least Sept. 30, 2021, Oregon OSHA will identify more enforcement capability to focus on heat-related issues.
  • Additional enforcement capability will come through reassignment of existing staff members, the use of overtime, and addressing heat issues in tandem with other inspection activity.
  • Addressing heat issues in tandem with other inspection activity will include – but not be limited to – evaluating heat stress concerns during fall prevention inspections in construction and field sanitation inspections in agriculture.

Workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace, including the right to be safe from the dangers of heat stress. They have the right to raise health and safety concerns, free from retaliation. If they do not believe their concerns are being addressed, they have a right to file a complaint with Oregon OSHA. The division does not give advance notice of inspections.

Penalties vary for violations of Oregon OSHA rules, in part, on the size of the employer, the risk involved, and the probability of a worker getting hurt. Under the division’s penalty structure, the maximum penalty for a serious violation that is not a willful or repeat offense is $12,675. A willful violation carries a maximum penalty of $126,749.

Meanwhile, Oregon OSHA continues to work on a permanent heat stress prevention rule with an eye on adopting it this fall. The temporary rule was adopted following direction from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to enact emergency measures.

The emergency rule documents are available for review in the following ways:

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.  

 

Attached Media Files: Oregon OSHA logo , DCBS logo
Tips to save time, money, and stress during wildfire evacuations - 07/13/21

Salem – The Bootleg, Jack, and Grandview wildfires have sparked several evacuation orders. The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has wildfire insurance resources available to help people in each evacuation level. 

Completing these tasks can help save you and your family time, money, and stress before, during, and after a wildfire. 


Level 3 evacuation: If you receive the level 3 order, leave your home as soon as possible. 

  • When it is safe, let your insurance company know that you have been ordered to evacuate. Confirm your policy coverage, deductible, and specific coverage limits. 
  • Save all receipts. Many insurance companies will help cover expenses such as lodging, food, and pet boarding. 
  • Work on a home inventory list. 
    • Look through photos and videos to help recall personal items. Pay close attention to what is in the background and look for smaller items, such as jewelry.
    • To the best of your ability, write down the age, original cost, and replacement cost of each item. 

Level 1 and 2 evacuation: 

  • Contact your insurance company to check your policy. 
    • Ask about deductible and specific coverage limits
    • Ask about auto coverage. You need comprehensive coverage on your vehicle to cover damage caused by a wildfire. 
  • Make a quick home inventory.
    • Take photos of each room in your home. Do not forget storage areas, such as the attic, shed, and garage. 
    • Check your insurance company’s website for an app or checklist that will help. 
  • Build a financial backpack. 
    • Gather important financial documents, such as passports, Social Security cards, insurance policies, titles, deeds, and financial accounts. 
    • Make copies or scan them to your phone or computer. 
  • Place all of the information with your go-bag of emergency supplies so this information is with you when you need to evacuate. 

Outside of evacuation zone: The time to prepare is now. 
Follow the disaster preparedness tips provided by the division at dfr.oregon.gov/preparenow

More resources are available on the division’s wildfire insurance resources page. 

If you have questions about insurance coverage, speak to your insurance company or agent. If you still have questions or concerns, the Division of Financial Regulation consumer advocacy team can help. 
•    Call 888-877-4894 (toll-free)
•    Email .insurancehelp@oregon.gov">dfr.insurancehelp@oregon.gov 
•    Visit dfr.oregon.gov 
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About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit dcbs.oregon.gov
About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov
 

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Oregon OSHA adopta una regla de emergencia que reafirma las protecciones para los trabajadores contra los peligros de temperaturas extremas y altas - 07/09/21

(Salem) – Oregon OSHA hoy adoptó una regla de emergencia que fortalece los requisitos para los empleadores con el fin de proteger a los trabajadores de los peligros de las temperaturas extremas y altas. Los requisitos amplían el acceso a la sombra y el agua fría. También incluyen descansos habituales para refrescarse, capacitación, comunicación, planificación de emergencia y otras medidas.

La regla temporal es efectiva inmediatamente y permanece en vigencia durante 180 días, mientras que Oregon OSHA continúa su trabajo en una regla de prevención de esfuerzo debido al calor permanente con miras de adoptarla este otoño. La regla temporal se adoptó posterior a la indicación de la gobernadora de Oregon, Kate Brown, de promulgar medidas de emergencia.

La regla temporal se aplica a cualquier lugar de trabajo (interno y externo), en donde los peligros por el calor sean causados por el clima.

Andrew Stolfi, director del Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores y Negocios de Oregon, el mismo que incluye Oregon OSHA, expresó que las medidas de emergencia de la división y el continuo trabajo en una regla permanente ponen de relieve el hecho de que los riesgos de trabajar en temperaturas altas no desaparecerán ni este, ni ningún otro verano. "Ante una ola de calor inaudita en el Noroeste del Pacífico y las consecuencias trágicas, es sumamente importante que continuemos creando nuestras defensas contra los efectos del cambio climático, incluyendo eventos de calor extremo", expresó.  

"Esta regla crea una mayor claridad para los empleadores acerca de los pasos específicos que se deben seguir para proteger a los trabajadores de los peligros de exposición al calor en el trabajo", expresó Michael Wood, administrador de Oregon OSHA. "Para los empleados, materializa más sus derechos existentes de protección contra los peligros de enfermedades causadas por el calor en el lugar de trabajo".

Oregon OSHA recomienda una lectura cuidadosa de la regla completa, que refleja la mejor ciencia disponible y aportes de interesados por parte de empleadores y el campo laboral. La división ofrece recursos gratuitos para la comprensión e implementación de la regla. La regla incorpora el índice de calor, que es cómo se siente la temperatura para el cuerpo humano cuando la humedad relativa se combina con la temperatura del aire. Lo siguiente, es un resumen de las disposiciones de la regla.

Cuando el índice de calor es igual o superior a 80ºF, se requiere que los empleadores proporcionen lo siguiente:

  • acceso a sombra suficiente (las especificaciones se encuentran a continuación)
  • un suministro adecuado de agua potable (las especificaciones se encuentran a continuación)

Cuando el índice de calor aumenta por encima de los 90ºF, se aplican todas las reglas para los 80ºF y, además, los empleadores deben realizar lo siguiente:

  • Garantizar que se mantenga la comunicación efectiva entre un empleado y un supervisor, de manera que un empleado pueda informar inquietudes. 
  • Garantizar que los empleados sean observados en alerta de signos y síntomas de enfermedad por el calor y sean controlados para determinar si fuera necesaria una atención médica.
  • Proporcionar un período de descanso para refrescarse en la sombra de 10 minutos cada dos horas de trabajo. Estos períodos preventivos de descanso para refrescarse se pueden proporcionar simultáneamente con cualquier otro período de descanso o para comer requerido por la política, la regla o la ley.
  • Desarrollar e implementar un plan médico de emergencia y prácticas para adaptar gradualmente a los empleados a trabajar en el calor.

Acceso a la sombra

Para ser suficiente, la sombra debe:

  • Estar proporcionada por cualquier medio artificial o natural que no exponga a los empleados a condiciones insalubres o inseguras y que no impida o evite el acceso o uso.
  • Debe ser abierta al aire libre o proporcionar ventilación mecánica para refrigerarse.
  • Al menos contener la cantidad de empleados en los períodos de descanso o recuperación, de manera que se puedan sentar en la sombra.
  • Estar ubicada en forma tal que quede cerca y sea práctica para las áreas en donde los empleados están trabajando.
  • La sombra presente durante los períodos para comer debe ser lo suficientemente grande como para contener la cantidad de empleados en el período para comer que permanece en el sitio.

Agua potable

Para calificar como un suministro adecuado de agua potable, debe contar con lo siguiente:

  • Estar fácilmente accesible para los empleados en todo momento y sin costo alguno.
  • Permitir que cada empleado consuma 32 onzas por hora.
  • Ser fresca (66 a 77ºF) o fría (35 a 65ºF).
  • El agua potable embalada como un producto del consumidor y las bebidas con electrolitos que no contengan cafeína (por ejemplo, bebidas deportivas) son sustitutos aceptables, pero no deben reemplazar por completo el agua requerida.
  • Los empleadores también deben asegurarse que los empleados tengan una amplia oportunidad de beber agua.

Capacitación de empleados y supervisores

Antes del 1.º de agosto del 2021, los empleadores deben garantizar que todos los empleados, incluso los nuevos empleados, empleados de supervisor y no relacionados con la supervisión, estén capacitados en los siguientes temas, en un idioma fácilmente comprensible, antes de comenzar a trabajar en un índice de calor igual o que supere los 80ºF.

  • El entorno y los factores de riesgo personal por enfermedades por el calor, como así también la carga adicional del calor en el cuerpo causada por el esfuerzo, la indumentaria y el equipo de protección personal.
  • Los procedimientos para cumplir con los requisitos de este estándar, incluso la responsabilidad del empleador de proporcionar agua, brindar información sobre el índice de calor diario, sombra, descansos para refrescarse y acceso a primeros auxilios, como así también el derecho de los empleados a ejercer sus derechos conforme a este estándar sin miedo a recibir represalias.
  • El concepto, la importancia y los métodos de adaptación al trabajo en un entorno de calor.
  • La importancia de que los empleados informen inmediatamente síntomas o signos de enfermedad por el calor que presenten ellos o sus compañeros de trabajo.
  • Los efectos de factores no relacionados con el trabajo (medicamentos, alcohol, obesidad, etc.) en la tolerancia para el esfuerzo por el calor en el lugar de trabajo.
  • Los diferentes tipos de enfermedades relacionadas con el calor, y los signos y síntomas comunes de enfermedades relacionadas con el calor.

Los documentos sobre la regla de emergencia están disponibles en la página Reglas adoptadas de Oregon OSHA: Seguridad y Salud Ocupacional de Oregon: Reglas adoptadas: Reglamentación: Estado de Oregon

Reglas temporales para tratar la exposición de los empleados a temperaturas ambiente altas: Reglas temporales para tratar la exposición de los empleados a temperaturas ambiente altas (oregon.gov)

Texto de las reglas adoptadas: Texto de las reglas temporales para tratar la exposición de los empleados a temperaturas ambiente altas (oregon.gov)

Los trabajadores tienen derecho a un lugar de trabajo seguro y saludable, incluyendo el derecho a trabajar de manera segura y protegidos de los peligros de exposición al calor en el trabajo. Tienen derecho a plantear inquietudes de seguridad y salud, sin recibir represalias. Si creen que sus inquietudes no son tratadas, tienen derecho a presentar una queja ante Oregon OSHA. La división no proporciona aviso por adelantado de inspecciones.

Mientras tanto, los siguientes recursos gratuitos están disponibles para ayudar a proteger a los trabajadores de las temperaturas extremas y altas:

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Oregon-OSHA es la división del Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores y Negocios que se encarga de hacer cumplir las leyes de salud y seguridad en el lugar de trabajo. OSHA trabaja para mejorar la salud y seguridad en el lugar de trabajo para todos los trabajadores de Oregon. Para más información visite osha.oregon.gov.

El Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores y Negocios es la agencia reguladora de negocios y de protección al consumidor más grande del estado. Para más información visite: www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

 

 

Attached Media Files: Oregon OSHA logo , DCBS logo
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Oregon OSHA adopts emergency rule bolstering protections for workers against the hazards of high and extreme heat - 07/08/21

(Salem) – Oregon OSHA today adopted an emergency rule that strengthens requirements for employers to protect workers from the dangers of high and extreme heat. The requirements expand access to shade and cool water. They also include regular cool-down breaks, training, communication, emergency planning and other measures.

The temporary rule is effective immediately and stays in place for 180 days, as Oregon OSHA continues its work on a permanent heat stress prevention rule with an eye on adopting it this fall. The temporary rule was adopted following direction from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown to enact emergency measures.

The temporary rule applies to any workplace – outdoors and indoors – where heat dangers are caused by the weather.

Andrew Stolfi, director of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which includes Oregon OSHA, said the division’s emergency measures and ongoing work on a permanent rule underscore the fact that the risks of working in high heat are not going away this, or any, summer. “In the face of an unprecedented heat wave in the Pacific Northwest – and tragic consequences – it is absolutely critical that we continue to build up our defenses against the effects of climate change, including extreme heat events,” he said.

“This rule creates greater clarity for employers about the specific steps that need to be taken to protect workers from heat stress dangers at work,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA “For employees, it further crystalizes their existing rights to protection from heat hazards where they work.”

Oregon OSHA encourages a careful reading of the entire rule, which reflects the best available science, and input from labor and employer stakeholders. The division offers free resources for understanding and implementing the rule. The rule incorporates the heat index, which is what the temperature feels like to the human body when relative humidity is combined with the air temperature. The following is a summary of the rule’s provisions.

When the heat index is equal to or above 80 degrees Fahrenheit employers are required to provide:

  • Access to sufficient shade (specifics below)
  • An adequate supply of drinking water (specifics below)

When the heat index rises above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, all of the rules for 80 degrees apply and, in addition, employers must:

  • Ensure effective communication between an employee and a supervisor is maintained so that an employee can report concerns. 
  • Ensure that employees are observed for alertness and signs and symptoms of heat illness and monitored to determine whether medical attention is necessary.
  • Provide a cool-down rest period in the shade of 10 minutes for every two hours of work. These preventative cool-down rest periods may be provided concurrently with any other meal or rest period required by policy, rule, or law.
  • Develop and implement an emergency medical plan and practices to gradually adapt employees to working in the heat.

Access to shade

To be sufficient, shade must:

  • Be provided by any natural or artificial means that does not expose employees to unsafe or unhealthy conditions and that does not deter or discourage access or use.
  • Either be open to the air or provide mechanical ventilation for cooling.
  • At least accommodate the number of employees on recovery or rest periods, so that they can sit in in the shade.
  • Be located as close as practical to the areas where employees are working.
  • Shade present during meal periods must be large enough to accommodate the number of employees on the meal period that remain onsite.

Drinking water

To qualify as an adequate supply of drinking water, it must:

  • Be readily accessible to employees at all times and at no cost.
  • Enable each employee to consume 32 ounces per hour.
  • Be cool (66-77 degrees Fahrenheit) or cold (35-65 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Drinking water packaged as a consumer product and electrolyte-replenishing drinks that do not contain caffeine (for example, sports drinks) are acceptable substitutes, but should not completely replace the required water.
  • Employers must also ensure that employees have ample opportunity to drink water.

Supervisor and employee training

No later than Aug 1, 2021, employers must ensure that all employees, including new employees, supervisory, and non-supervisory employees, are trained in the following topics, in a language readily understood, before they begin work in a heat index equal to or in excess of 80 degrees Fahrenheit:

  • The environmental and personal risk factors for heat illness, as well as the added burden of heat load on the body caused by exertion, clothing, and personal protective equipment.
  • The procedures for complying with the requirements of this standard, including the employer's responsibility to provide water, provide daily heat index information, shade, cool-down rests, and access to first aid as well as the employees' right to exercise their rights under this standard without fear of retaliation.
  • The concept, importance, and methods of adapting to working in a hot environment.
  • The importance of employees immediately reporting symptoms or signs of heat illness in themselves, or in co-workers.
  • The effects of non-job factors (medications, alcohol, obesity, etc.) on tolerance to workplace heat stress.
  • The different types of heat-related illness, and the common signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.

The emergency rule documents are available on Oregon OSHA’s Adopted Rules page: Oregon Occupational Safety and Health : Adopted Rules : Rulemaking : State of Oregon

Temporary Rules to Address Employee Exposure to High Ambient Temperatures: Temporary Rules to Address Employee Exposure to High Ambient Temperatures (oregon.gov)

Text of adopted rules: Text of Temporary Rules to Address Employee Exposure to High Ambient Temperatures (oregon.gov)

Workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace, including the right to be safe from the dangers of heat stress. They have the right to raise health and safety concerns, free from retaliation. If they do not believe their concerns are being addressed, they have a right to file a complaint with Oregon OSHA. The division does not give advance notice of inspections.

Meanwhile, the following free resources are available to help protect workers from high and extreme heat:

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.  

 

Attached Media Files: Oregon OSHA logo , DCBS logo
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Many Oregonians can now get health coverage for $1 per month (Photo) - 07/01/21

(Salem) – Starting July 1, 2021, people who have received or qualified for at least one week of unemployment benefits in 2021 may be able to get health coverage for $1 per month after advance payment of premium tax credits.  

  • According to the United States Department of Labor, approximately 112,500 people in Oregon were on unemployment benefits at the highest point in January 2021.
  • From Feb. 15 to May 31, 2021, as part of the COVID-19 special enrollment period, 13,708 Oregonians were newly enrolled in health coverage. The COVID-19 special enrollment period ends Aug. 15, 2021, and is open to all people who qualify to shop.
  • Seven out of 10 Oregonians now qualify for financial help through the Marketplace.

The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace encourages all people who are uninsured to explore their health coverage options and to see how much in additional savings they can now get. Anyone not currently enrolled in health coverage can apply and enroll before Aug. 15 to get health coverage with these extra savings for the rest of 2021.

Current Marketplace enrollees can log in to their HealthCare.gov account and report that they received unemployment during 2021 to take advantage of these additional savings. These savings are in addition to any additional savings that have been available since April 1, 2021, under the American Rescue Plan.

The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace offers a quick snapshot of the plans and savings to eligible Oregonians. The tool, available at OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop, and has been updated to correctly calculate additional savings now available to people shopping through the Marketplace.

Start at OregonHealthCare.gov to get to the right application or to find an insurance agent or community partner organization to help complete the application and enroll. Insurance agents and community partners provide local, one-on-one assistance at no charge. This help is available virtually, on the phone, and in person following safety protocols.

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government, helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage, and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, go to OregonHealthCare.gov.

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Muchos Oregonianos ahora pueden obtener cobertura médica por un dólar al mes (Photo) - 07/01/21

(Salem) – A partir del 1 de julio de 2021, las personas que hayan recibido o cumplan los requisitos para recibir al menos una semana de beneficios de desempleo en 2021 podrán obtener una cobertura médica por un dólar al mes después del pago anticipado de los créditos fiscales para las primas. 

  • Según el Departamento de Trabajo de los Estados Unidos, aproximadamente 112.500 personas en Oregón estaban recibiendo prestaciones por desempleo en el punto más alto de enero de 2021.
  • Entre el 15 de febrero y el 31 de mayo de 2021, como parte del período de inscripción especial COVID-19, 13.708 oregoneses se inscribieron nuevamente en una cobertura médica. El periodo de inscripción especial COVID-19 finaliza el 15 de agosto de 2021 y está abierto a todas las personas que reúnan los requisitos para comprar.
  • Siete de cada diez habitantes de Oregón cumplen ahora los requisitos para recibir ayuda financiera a través del Mercado.

El Mercado de Seguros Médicos de Oregón anima a todas las personas que no tienen seguro a explorar sus opciones de cobertura médica y a ver cuánto en ahorros adicionales pueden obtener ahora. Cualquier persona que no esté actualmente inscrita en una cobertura de salud puede solicitar e inscribirse antes del 15 de agosto para obtener una cobertura de salud con estos ahorros adicionales para el resto de 2021.

Las personas que están inscritas en el Mercado pueden entrar en su cuenta de CuidadoDeSalud.gov e informar de que recibieron el desempleo durante 2021 para aprovechar estos ahorros adicionales. Estos ahorros se adicionan a cualquier ahorro que haya estado disponible desde el 1 de abril de 2021, bajo el Plan de Rescate Americano.

El Mercado de Seguros Médicos de Oregón ofrece un resumen de los planes y ahorros a los habitantes de Oregón que reúnen los requisitos. La herramienta está disponible en OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop, y se ha actualizada para calcular correctamente los ahorros adicionales ahora disponibles para las personas que compran a través del Mercado.

Comience en CuidadoDeSalud.Oregon.gov o llama al 855-268-3767 para llegar a la solicitud correcta o para encontrar un agente de seguros o una organización comunitaria asociada que le ayude a completar la solicitud y a inscribirse. Los agentes de seguros y los socios de la comunidad proporcionan asistencia local y personalizada sin coste alguno. Esta ayuda está disponible virtualmente, por teléfono y en persona siguiendo los protocolos de seguridad.

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El Mercado de Seguros Médicos de Oregon, una parte del gobierno estatal, ayuda a las personas a conseguir seguro médico cuando no tienen cobertura a través de su trabajo, y no califican para el Plan de Salud de Oregon u otro programa. El Mercado es el socio al nivel estatal a CuidadoDeSalud.gov, y una división del Departamento de Servicios para Consumidores y Negocios (DCBS, por sus siglas en inglés). Para obtener más información, visite CuidadoDeSalud.Oregon.gov.

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Virtual public hearings set for 2022 health insurance preliminary rate decisions - 06/30/21

Salem — Oregonians can see and comment on the state’s preliminary rate decisions for 2022 individual and small employer health insurance plans. The Division of Financial Regulation has released the preliminary rate decisions and virtual public hearing schedule.

The preliminary decisions will go through continued review and discussion during a series of virtual public hearings Tuesday, July 6 and Wednesday, July 7. At the hearings, each insurance company will provide a brief presentation about their rate requests, answer questions from the division, and hear public comment from Oregonians.

For the individual market, six companies were issued preliminary decisions with average rate changes ranging from a 1.0 percent decrease to a 4.9 percent increase. Under the preliminary decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $450 to $505 a month.

In the small group market, the division issued preliminary decisions for 10 companies ranging from a 3.3 percent decrease to a 5.2 percent increase. Under the preliminary decisions, Silver Standard Plan premiums for a 40-year-old in Portland would range from $336 to $415 a month.

See the 2022 health insurance rate chart for the full list of preliminary decisions.

 Common trends that affect rates include:

  • Medical costs continue to rise, driven by increased use and the cost of new specialized prescription drugs.
  • Adjustment for House Bill 2623 which limits cost-sharing for health plan coverage of insulin prescribed for treatment of diabetes.
  • The Oregon Reinsurance Program, continues to lower rates by 6 percent for the fourth consecutive year.

Oregonians are encouraged to participate in the virtual public hearings. Visit the division’s rate filings page to view requested rates and provide public comment.

Visit the public hearings page for time, date, and instructions on how to participate in each insurer’s rate hearing.

Final decisions are expected to be announced in early August.

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About DCBS: The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit dcbs.oregon.gov. 

About Oregon DFR: The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov.

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Effective immediately, Oregon OSHA formally lifts face covering, distancing parts of COVID-19 rules - 06/30/21

(Salem) – Oregon OSHA today removed the facial covering and physical distancing requirements of its COVID-19 rule for all workplaces, with certain exceptions, including health care, public transit, and airports.

The move by the division is part of a formal process involving initial amendments to the existing requirements of its COVID-19 rule for all workplaces. It also encompasses similar changes that will be made to another COVID-19 rule addressing housing provided by employers, including as part of agricultural operations. 

The lifting of the facial covering and distancing requirements – effective immediately – are consistent with previous public announcements about the reopening of Oregon, including by Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority.

However, that does not mean that all of Oregon OSHA’s COVID-19 requirements are going away immediately. For the rule addressing all workplaces, examples of measures that will remain in place longer include optimization of ventilation, notification of a positive case in the workplace, and proper steps to take if an employee must quarantine.

While the facial covering and distancing provisions are removed from the rule addressing employer-provided housing, the rule’s measures - including placement of beds and air purifiers - remain in place.

Meanwhile, Oregon OSHA continues to meet on a regular basis with stakeholders about the eventual full repeal of the requirements.

Indeed, the fact that Oregon OSHA has lifted – and will no longer enforce – the basic facial covering and distancing parts of its requirements does not mean that the risks of COVID-19 are gone.

“It is heartening to see that we have come so far and are experiencing an improving situation,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “But the risks remain real – especially for those who are not fully vaccinated. That is why, from a risk management standpoint, it makes sense to keep some provisions of our workplace requirements in place longer.”

Wood added, “We need to remain vigilant and encourage more people to get vaccinated.”

To put these changes into effect, documents have been filed for the general workplace rule. The documents are available here:

https://osha.oregon.gov/OSHARules/adopted/2021/ao4-2021-letter-cov19-allworkplaces.pdf

The amendment to the employer-provided housing rules are in the process of being filed and will soon be available on the website here:

https://osha.oregon.gov/rules/making/Pages/adopted.aspx

The changes implemented by Oregon OSHA do not preclude businesses from choosing to put their own facial covering and distancing measures in place, as long as they do so according to public health guidelines and keeping in mind accommodations for people with disabilities.

Oregon OSHA extended its requirements for all workplaces, which took effect May 4, to maintain risk-reducing safety measures for workers against the coronavirus. The requirements were developed – and, in several cases, adjusted – based on extensive public input, comments, and technical and stakeholder review.

When it extended the requirements, Oregon OSHA committed to an ongoing process to eventually repeal the rules in their entirety when they are no longer needed to address the pandemic in the workplace.

As part of that process, Oregon OSHA continues to consult with the Oregon OSHA Partnership Committee, the Oregon Health Authority, the two Infectious Disease Rulemaking Advisory Committees, and other stakeholders.

Learn more about Oregon OSHA’s free resources – involving no fault, no citations, and no penalties – by contacting our consultation services and technical experts.

Learn more about Oregon OSHA’s workplace guidance and resources related to COVID-19: https://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/re/covid-19.aspx

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/dcbs/.  

 

Attached Media Files: Oregon OSHA logo , DCBS logo