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OSHA approves Oregon’s oversight of temporary labor camps

OSHA Oregon.jpg

Photo: Oregon.gov

Washington — Oregon OSHA now has full oversight of temporary labor camps in the state, after receiving federal OSHA’s final approval.

According to a recently published notice, covered labor camps include those for logging, agriculture, construction and general industry. Oregon OSHA – which operates as a State Plan – now has enforcement authority over those camps. 

OSHA initially approved an Oregon standard on temporary labor camps in 1976, but the state made revisions to it in 2000. The agency then raised concerns that the revised standard wasn’t as stringent as federal rules, a requirement under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

While trying to resolve that issue with OSHA and the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division, Oregon’s State Plan as a whole was granted final approval by OSHA in December 2004. Oversight over temporary labor camps, however, was excluded from the approval.

Oregon OSHA made changes to its standard on temporary labor camps in 2008 and requested oversight of camps in an August 2018 meeting with federal OSHA. Oregon also amended its Agricultural Labor Housing and Related Facilities Rule in May 2022 to add provisions on heat illness prevention.

OSHA published a proposed final approval on March 13 and set an April 17 deadline for comments or requests for a public hearing. The agency received one comment in support and no requests for a public hearing. 

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