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OSHA Increases Enforcement Efforts

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is planning to start scheduling more proactive inspections and enforcement actions soon as employers adjust to the new workplace rules. OSHA Temporary COVID Rules remain in effect until May 4, 2021 unless revised or repealed. The rules apply to ‘all workplaces and workers subject to Oregon OSHA’s jurisdiction.’

OSHA will focus on industries that have seen the most complaints. That likely means that retail, grocery, restaurants, agriculture, and food processing companies will likely be the primary focus of new enforcement actions. Note: ag/food processing will be subjected to ‘enhanced’ on-sites as well. Most inspections will still be prompted by complaints.

Increased enforcement is expected so we want our members to be safe and prepared. See below for all our listed resources!

OSHA Temporary COVID Rules

Final OSHA Temporary COVID Rules have been released and take effect on November 16, 2020 and remain in effect until May 4, 2021 unless revised or repealed. The rules apply to ‘all workplaces and workers subject to Oregon OSHA’s jurisdiction.’

Additional requirements to note:

  • Employee Notification on COVID-19 is required. Available here as an example;
  • Employers must post the OSHA notice. Available here to print;
  • Risk Exposure Assessment required by December 7; Risk Assessment: HERE
  • Infection Control Plan required by December 7; Infection control plan: HERE
    *The Infection Control Plan fillable word doc is NOW online here!
  • Employee training must be completed by December 21;
  • Ventilation Requirements (all workplaces): January 6, 2021

View the Temporary Rules HERE.

View workplace chart for application HERE.


Affected by the ‘freeze’ in your ability to meet the compliance deadlines? OSHA acknowledges a de facto “grace period” for employers who have been working to comply but have not yet completed that work. See more information here.

OR-OSHA COVID-19 Training Materials Released

OR-OSHA has released an online interactive education course designed to help employers meet four of the 10 training requirements found in their COVID-19 rules. The course is 1-hour course. Find English Course and Spanish Course.


You can also download the presentation as a PowerPoint (scroll to bottom of page). While not required, OR-OSHA also included a model ‘training verification form’ for employees.



New Quarantine Paid Leave Program Launched

Share with Employees

DCBS has officially launched the Quarantine Time Loss program. The program, funded by the Emergency Board July 14th, provides $30M in direct worker wage-replacement for those workers who must quarantine due to COVID symptoms. Employees are eligible if their employer is (1) not subject to FFRCA, (2) are not providing a paid quarantine benefit or (3) the worker has exhausted (1) or other COVID leave. There is nothing the employer needs to do to trigger the wage-replacement. The employee should fill out the application, provide notice to their employer and will receive a one-time payment worth $120 per-day for up to 10 working days ($1,200 total). Employers may share the program details with their workers. Workers can access the new wage replacement program starting Wednesday, Sept. 16th at oregon.gov/covidpaidleave.

It will be a first come, first serve program. Find out more here.



NAWG Fact Sheet - CFAP 2

On Friday, September 18, 2020, USDA Secretary Perdue announced that assistance would be provided to farmers economically impacted by COVID-19 through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) utilizing funds through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and the CARES Act. USDA’s press release announcing the program can be found here. NAWG’s press release on the announcement can be found here. Additional details about assistance for row crops can be found here.

Beginning on Monday, September 21, 2020, through December 11, 2020, farmers will be able to sign up through this link.

Fact sheet here!
USDA Tool Kit here.
Frequently Asked Questions can be found here.



FMCSA extends emergency declaration - Dec. 31

For more information: (503) 373-0000, option 1 for information about over-dimension loads; (503) 378-6699 for information about registration services

Some waivers have been modified.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended its COVID-19-related waivers for commercial driver licensing, commercial learner’s permits and medical examination certificates through Dec. 31, 2020.

Read the full Sept. 18 extension here.



Governor Highlights COVID-19 Mitigation Efforts

On August 20th, Oregon Wheat Growers League participated in a meeting with Oregon’s Governor to discuss efforts to reopen the economy and successfully return students to school classrooms. With an emphasis on the importance of bringing down Oregon’s positive case count per 100,000 residents, she requested support from industries and individuals throughout the state. The top actions we can take to mitigate transmission with little or no economic impacts are:
1. Compliance with wearing face coverings
2. Compliance with OSHA Guidelines for Workplaces
3. Effective Contact Tracing
4. Compliance with isolation/quarantine, including economic supports



Worker Quarantine Fund

The Worker Quarantine Fund provides temporary financial assistance to Oregon agricultural workers who are 18 years or older and are recovering from COVID-19, seeking healthcare and practicing quarantine and isolation.

Information and application available here.


COVID-19 Agriculture Response Protocol

There is nothing we take more seriously than the health of our employees. Use the toolkit for resources to assist in implementing mitigation measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Use the playbook to understand the approach to a coordinated response when one or more cases of COVID-19 are identified at an agricultural operation.

COVID Farm Toolkit

Ag & Farm Playbook



Crop Insurance Flexibility

The Risk Management Agency announced additional COVID-related flexibilities to the federal crop insurance program. These flexibilities include interest accrual on premium payments and administrative fees to be waived. Read more about it here.

The Farm Service Agency recently waived late file fees for acreage reports and discussed extending deadlines. Read more about it here.

RMA issued a notice authorizing self-certification on replant inspections and waiving the witness signature requirement for approval of Assignments of Indemnity through July 15, 2020. Regarding replant self-certification, RMA is authorizing AIPs to allow such for up to 100 gross acres (before considering share) per unit in lieu of 50 acres. Wheat not covered by the Winter Coverage Endorsement (both initially planted winter and spring crops) is eligible.



OSHA issues temporary rule

Oregon OSHA adopted a temporary rule impacting field sanitation, labor housing, and transportation for affected agricultural operations. The temporary rule applies to all labor-intensive agricultural operations when employees would otherwise perform their duties or routinely congregate within 6 feet of one another. Agricultural employers whose normal activities do not involve such close contact have no additional requirements under this section.

OSHA Temp Ag Rule

OSHA Ag Rule FAQ

Temporary Guidance on Respiratory Protection

EPA released temporary guidance on respiratory protection requirements for agricultural pesticide handlers, recognizing the shortage of PPA. The temporary guidance outlines approaches to address the unavailability of required respiratory protection and respiratory fit testing that should first be exhausted before considering any alternative options. Read the guidance and learn more about EPA’s Worker Protection Standard HERE




PPP Loans, EIDL Advances, SBA Loan Subsidies

PPP Loans, EIDL Advances, SBA Loan Subsidies Not Subject to CAT TAX
The Oregon Department of Revenue has determined that certain federal assistance to businesses under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is not commercial activity under Oregon statute and will not be subject to the Corporate Activity Tax. The exempt assistance includes forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) emergency advances, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loan subsidies. More information can be found in the Beyond the FAQ section of the CAT page on the department's website.



Department of Revenue CAT Tax Decisions

Oregon Department of Revenue took steps to provide some relief to small businesses. DOR will not require a quarterly filing/payment today from a business who is not expected to have more than $10,000 in annual tax liability (this was previously $5,000 and should increase the quarterly waiver threshold to businesses with approximately $2M in gross receipts – up from $1M).

DOR will waive penalties for underestimated quarterly payments or for not making a quarterly payment, if the business does not have the financial ability to make the estimated payment. More information on the DOR CAT website here.