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New County Risk Levels Mean Businesses Must Restrict--Or Else

Tiffany Eckert

County risk levels go into effect across Oregon on Friday. That means new COVID-19 restrictions for some businesses. Here’s what can happen if a workplace refuses to comply.

Since the start of the pandemic, Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has received over 23,000 complaints over COVID-19 violations.

OSHA’s Aaron Corvin said when his agency cites a business for flouting the rules, it’s meant to protect the workers. “We’ve issued more than 130 citations to employers. About 25 of those have involved willful violations,” said Corvin.

These offenses can come with heavy fines--which Corvin calls an effective deterrent. He says most complaints end up resolved without charges. Employers just have to correct the violation.

“Keeping your workers safe and doing business are not counter to one another,” Corvin said.

23 Oregon counties are now in High risk with restrictions including 25% capacity for restaurants and gyms.

For more information from OSHA:

COVID-19 Pandemic Response as it Relates to Workplace Safety and Health in Oregon 

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.
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