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Oregon heat and smoke rules adopted today, take effect June, July

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SALEM, Ore. -- Two summer rules to protect Oregon workers from heat and wildfire smoke are in place today to take effect in June and July.

South Obenchain Fire billows smoke behind flag 9.15.2020 US Govt image.jpeg

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) announced today adoption of the rules.  Its heat rule involves access to shade, cool water, cool-down breaks, and heat-illness prevention plans, information and training.  Its wildfire smoke rule includes exposure assessments and controls, and training and communication.  It says both rules cover initial protective measures for workers who rely on employer-provided housing, such as part of farm operations.

The rules take effect June 15 for heat and July 1 for wildfire smoke.  Oregon OSHA says they "are the most protective of their kind in the United States. The rules reflect the need to strengthen protections in the workplace against the extraordinary hazards of high heat and wildfire smoke while focusing on the needs of Oregon’s most vulnerable communities."

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Oregon OSHA adopted the rules, which build on temporary emergency requirements adopted last summer after months of stakeholder and community engagement. The rules are part of Oregon’s work initiated by Gov. Kate Brown's March 2020 executive order 20-04 to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) Director Andrew Stolfi says, "We know the threats posed by high heat and wildfire smoke are not going away. These rules reflect that reality."

"As we move forward with these rules, Oregon OSHA will continue to offer free training and education resources to help employers achieve compliance," said acting administrator for Oregon OSHA Renee Stapleton.

Oregon OSHA offers these resources:

smoke from fires

Read the rules:

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