PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been inundated with complaints regarding workplace safety regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order this week shut down numerous businesses statewide. Other essential businesses can remain open, as long as they implement social distancing measures.
It’s those businesses that are driving complaints to OSHA. The agency reports receiving roughly 400 complaints in the Portland area alone in just 24 hours.
“That is a tremendous amount,” said Aaron Corvin with Oregon OSHA. “That is an unusual volume of complaints and obviously we’re living and working in unusual times.”
The complaints have included a shortage in personal protective equipment like N95 masks, general sanitation issues and employers not enforcing social distancing guidelines.
Corvin said, to his knowledge, the agency has not received any complaints about a business that should not be operating under Brown’s executive order.
Anyone who feels unsafe is asked to raise issues with an employer first. If there is a need to escalate it to the state level, reports can be filed online at osha.oregon.gov. Calls can also be made to local OSHA field offices.
Additionally, businesses can contact the consultation team at a field office to seek advice or help with best practices to keep workers safe.
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Oregon OSHA cannot take reports regarding violations of the governor’s order outside of the workplace. An example of that would be a customer who believes they have been exposed due to a retail store not maintaining social distancing. Oregon OSHA can only respond to reports of worker exposure.
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