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Oregon OSHA Says It Will Begin COVID-19 Spot Checks

The agency that regulates workplace safety in Oregon says it will begin spot checks to ensure employers are following guidelines related to preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

Oregon OSHA was flooded with complaints from workers who said their employer was not providing adequate social distancing for people still on the job. The agency received nearly three-thousand over a six-week period, eclipsing the amount of workplace safety complaints it typically gets in an entire year.

With far more than normal, not every one of them can be handled with an in-depth inspection. OSHA says it will begin to make quick spot check visits to make sure employers are doing what they tell the agency they’re doing to keep their workers safe.

Going forward, the agency says it will focus on more recent complaints as well as those that provide specific allegations, as well as provide contact information for the complainant.

“This approach will allow us to verify the responses to complaints that we’ve received so far from employers while focusing our enforcement resources on those employers most likely to be in continued non-compliance,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA.

OSHA isn't the only state agency enforcing Governor Kate Brown's executive order on social distancing. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced Monday that it had suspended the license for a bar in Cave Junction. Acting on a tip, an OLCC inspector visited the Sportsman Tavern and observed violations of the restriction on serving food or beverages for on-premise consumption.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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