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Oregon businesses invited to take a 'Safety Break' May 10 - 01/20/17

(Salem) -- May 10 is a day to come together and reflect on and talk about why workplace safety and health matter in our lives. It's a day to put safety into action and to renew our commitment to preventing on-the-job injury, illness, and death.

Employers across Oregon are invited to participate in Safety Break for Oregon on Wednesday, May 10, event aimed at raising awareness and promoting the value of safety and health in shielding workers from harm. Now in its 14th year, Safety Break encourages employers to bolster workplace safety and health with training, award recognition gatherings, or other creative activities.

Oregon OSHA coordinates Safety Break, which is voluntary for employers. Businesses and other employers can decide what activities are most beneficial to their workforce.

"This stand-down provides an opportunity for employers and their workers to pause and remember the high value they should place on safety and health while on the job," said Michael Wood, Oregon OSHA administrator. "It's an opportunity to celebrate past successes and to review the reasons behind those successes. It's also a time to reflect on current challenges and to look to the future with a renewed commitment to identifying and eliminating hazards."

Safety Break encourages employees and managers to work together to identify safety and health concerns. The result of this cooperation can lead to fewer injuries and reduced workers' compensation costs for employers.

Companies that participate will be entered to win one of three $100 checks, to be used for a luncheon of their choice, when they sign up online by Friday, May 5: http://osha.oregon.gov/safetybreak/Pages/signup.aspx. The prizes will be given to participating companies as part of a random drawing. The Oregon SHARP Alliance is sponsoring the contest.

For more information, ideas on how to host an event, or to download graphics, visit the Safety Break for Oregon website at http://osha.oregon.gov/safetybreak/Pages/index.aspx.


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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

2017 Oregon GOSH Conference coming to Portland - 01/18/17

(Salem) -- Registration is open for the Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference, to be held March 6-9, 2017, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. With more than 150 workshops and sessions, it is the largest event of its kind in the Northwest.

"This event provides a unique opportunity for organizations to breathe new life into their commitment to on-the-job safety and health," said Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood. "Everyone from professionals in the field to employers, supervisors and workers on the front lines can use GOSH as a fresh reminder of why workplace health and safety matters. Ultimately, it's about bringing people together to soak up new knowledge, discuss best safety and health practices, and to tackle emerging issues -- all with the goal of sending workers home safe to their family and friends."

Keynote speaker Todd Conklin will present "Thinking Differently About Safety" on Tuesday, March 7. Conklin, who has a doctorate in organizational behavior, spent 25 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory as a senior advisor for organizational and safety culture. He speaks all over the world to executives, groups, and work teams who are interested in better understanding the relationship between workers in the field and an organization's systems, processes, and programs.

Conklin's presentation will focus on the human performance theory of safety, where investigations are conducted before accidents happen. "Safety is not the absence of events," he said. "Safety is the presence of defenses."

The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) encourages safety committee members, emerging environmental health and safety professionals, safety managers, and human resources personnel to mark their calendars for the 2017 GOSH Conference.

The event will offer session tracks on many specialties, including:
* Construction
* Workplace violence prevention
* Motor vehicle safety
* Emergency response and preparedness
* Communication and training
* Utilities
* Craft brewing and winemaking

Back by popular demand is the Columbia Forklift Challenge and registration is open to participants. Trained forklift drivers will compete for cash in an obstacle course designed to test their skills and safe operation on Wednesday, March 8.

The GOSH Conference is a joint effort of the American Society of Safety Engineers Columbia-Willamette Chapter and Oregon OSHA.

For more information on the conference schedule, events or to register, go to www.oregongosh.com.


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About Oregon OSHA:
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

Feb. 1 is the deadline for Oregon students to enter workplace safety contest - 01/17/17

(Salem) -- There is still time for Oregon high school students to let their video skills shine in service of a good cause: increasing awareness about safety on the job for young workers. The deadline to submit their creative work in the annual "Speak up. Work safe." video contest is Wednesday, Feb. 1.

The top three entries will take home cash prizes ranging from $300 to $500, and students will earn a matching amount for their school.

Students must create a 90-second or less video that inspires young workers to do at least one thing differently to stay safe on the job. The video must include the theme: "Speak up. Work safe." The video must educate young workers about the importance of speaking up in the workplace. Specific video guidelines are outlined in the contest rules. Participants are encouraged to develop a key message or slogan, use humor, and get creative while emphasizing ways to protect themselves -- and their co-workers -- from getting hurt on the job.

Submissions will be judged on the following:
* An original health and safety message that appeals to teen workers and safety educators
* Overall production value (video/audio quality, acting, and editing)
* "Speak up. Work safe." theme is used effectively

Contest winners will be unveiled at a screening event this spring, and winning entries will be posted on YouTube.

In the past, student winners wrote and sang original music as part of their "safety musical," while other finalists relied on storytelling through oddball characters or serious themes that touched on the potential for on-the-job accidents.

Starting this year, students may submit their videos online.

For detailed contest information, including tips, rules, entry forms, workplace safety and young worker resources, and a playlist of past finalist videos, go to http://youngemployeesafety.org/contest/.

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) organizes the contest. The sponsors are Oregon OSHA, SAIF Corporation, local Oregon chapters of the American Society of Safety Engineers, the Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU, the SHARP Alliance, the Central Oregon Safety & Health Association, the SafeBuild Alliance, Hoffman Construction, and Construction Safety Summit.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.orosha.org.

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) is a nonprofit dedicated to preventing young worker injuries and fatalities. O[yes] members include safety and health professionals, educators, employers, labor and trade associations, and regulators. For more information, go to http://youngemployeesafety.org/.

Lane Community College welcomes health insurance enrollment event - 01/11/17

(Salem) -- Students at Lane Community College in Eugene are invited to sign up for health insurance during an enrollment event that will include free in-person help with the application.

Enrollment help will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Center Building's Learning Commons (second floor) at the college, 4000 East 30th Ave., Eugene.

The event, which is also open to residents of Lane County, will include a Health Insurance 101 meeting from 9 to 10:30 a.m. in Room 202 of the college's Center Building. The meeting will answer questions about health insurance in Oregon, review people's options, and address the myths of health insurance.

The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is hosting the event in partnership with the college. The event arrives as open enrollment runs through Jan. 31 for those who buy plans on their own because they do not have coverage through their employer.

Attendees should bring the following household information:
* Social Security numbers and birth dates
* Immigration documentation
* Employer and income information
* Federal tax information
* Policy numbers and plan names for current insurance

Enrollment can get confusing. It may be difficult for people to navigate on their own. That is why help from an expert is available.

"Students and community members can walk in, meet with someone trained and experienced in the enrollment process, and get help finding the health plan that works for them," said Israel Estrada, outreach and education coordinator for the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace.

More information
The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace offers general information for consumers through a local service center, which can be reached by calling 1-855-268-3767 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by email info.marketplace@oregon.gov

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Central Oregon event focuses on worker safety in construction - 01/09/17

(Salem) -- A two-day training conference in central Oregon will offer employers in the residential, commercial, and industrial construction industries a variety of opportunities to hone their skills at protecting workers from harm.

Topics covered during the Jan. 30-31 Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit will include elimination of fall hazards, ladder safety, excavation rules, construction-related health hazards, and fire safety during construction.

Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA), a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, encourages employers and workers to attend the 16th annual summit at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes Convention Center in Bend.

The summit's keynote speakers are Jeff Deswert and Todd Taylor, with Kirby Nagelhout Construction and Taylor NW, respectively. During their Jan. 31 presentation, "The Journey to the Commitment," Deswert and Taylor will discuss how a culture of safety has contributed to the success of their companies and careers.

The two-day summit's other workshops include:

* Construction A-Z. This session reviews the many hazards found in construction and demolition, and the best practices -- and requirements -- for correcting them.
* Basics in starting a safety program
* Safety culture improvement and the power of influence
* Regulatory update for the construction industry
* Strains: causes, prevention, and treatment
* Hand/power tools and personal protective equipment

Registration for pre-conference workshops (Jan. 30) is $50. Conference registration (Jan. 31) is $85.

To register, go to https://safetyseries.cvent.com/summit17. If you have questions or need help registering, call the Oregon OSHA Conference Section, 503-947-7411.

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About Oregon OSHA:
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, go to www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

Online course focuses on workplace prevention of bloodborne diseases - 01/05/17

(Salem) -- The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) has created an online course to help employers protect workers from bloodborne pathogens in health care, emergency response, housekeeping, and other industries.

Featuring videos, interactive scenarios, and a quiz, the course is designed to boost the ability of employers and managers to meet the requirements of Oregon OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard. Topics covered include assessing the potential for exposure in your workplace, understanding the critical elements of an exposure-control plan, preventing and lessening exposures, and administering your exposure control plan.

"Employers can use this flexible online course to help build an effective exposure-control plan, refresh their knowledge of the topic, or check whether their existing plans meet current rules," said Roy Kroker, consultation and public education manager for Oregon OSHA.

The stakes are high. Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. They include hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and human immunodeficiency virus. Needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries occur to 600,000 health care personnel each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The mobile-friendly online course can be completed in an hour. It includes many helpful videos. One of them, for example, shows what employers can expect during an inspection by Oregon OSHA. Others cover everything from recordkeeping and hazard warning labels to personal protective equipment, such as eye protection and gloves, and engineering controls, such as sharps disposal containers.

The online course includes contact information and other helpful links. Participants have the option of receiving a certificate of completion. The course is available at http://osha.oregon.gov/edu/courses/Pages/oc/bloodborne-pathogens-online-course.aspx

For more information about Oregon OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard, go to http://osha.oregon.gov/OSHARules/div2/div2Z-1030-bloodborne.pdf

To get fact sheets, forms, checklists, and other rule-related information about bloodborne pathogens, visit Oregon OSHA's A-to-Z topic page at http://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/topics/bloodborne-pathogens.aspx

Oregon OSHA's technical staff can answer questions to help employers understand how to apply rules to their workplace:

Phone: 503-378-3272
Toll-free: 800-922-2689
Email: tech.web@oregon.gov
Online: http://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/Contact-Technical.aspx

Employers may also contact Oregon OSHA's no-cost consultation services for help with safety and health programs:

Toll-free: 800-922-2689
Field offices: http://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/maps.aspx
Email: consult.web@oregon.gov


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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Lincoln County welcomes health insurance enrollment events - 01/04/17

(Salem) -- Residents of Lincoln County are invited to sign up for health insurance during enrollment events that will include free in-person help with the application.

The enrollment events will be Saturday, Jan. 14, in Newport and Lincoln City.

* 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Samaritan Health Services' Center for Health Education, 930 SW Abbey St., Newport
* 3 to 7 p.m. at the Lincoln City Recreation Center, 2150 NE Oar Pl., Lincoln City

PH Tech, a community partner of Oregon's Health Insurance Marketplace, is hosting the events. PH Tech's trained and experienced staff can help attendees apply for coverage and sort through health plan options. The events arrive as open enrollment runs through Jan. 31 for those who buy plans on their own because they do not have coverage through their employer.

Attendees should bring the following household information:
* Social Security numbers and birth dates
* Immigration documentation
* Employer and income information
* Federal tax information
* Policy numbers and plan names for current insurance.

More information:
The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace offers general information for consumers through a local service center, which can be reached by calling 1-855-268-3767 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by email at info.marketplace@oregon.gov

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

Online course offers safety awareness training to young workers - 01/04/17

(Salem) -- Young workers across Oregon are encouraged to equip themselves with a new tool to stay safe while on the job: online safety awareness training.

Created by the nonprofit Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]), the interactive training program -- accessible by smartphone and tablet -- covers everything from finding and controlling hazards, and young worker rights and responsibilities to how to speak up for safety and how to prepare for emergencies at work.

The program, which includes a student workbook, can be completed in about 45 minutes. Designed to be flexible, the program does not have to be finished all at once. It features ongoing questions to test participants' knowledge.

Participants who successfully complete the program receive a certificate.

Each year in the United States, 59,800 workers age 18 or younger go to the emergency room because of job-related injuries. And workers younger than 25 are twice as likely to be injured on the job as other workers.

The factors that contribute to this increased risk include the fact that young workers:
* Are more likely to try something they don't know how to do
* Switch jobs more frequently than adults
* Are motivated to prove themselves
* May not ask questions to avoid looking inexperienced

To access the Young Employee Safety Awareness online training program, go to http://osha.oregon.gov/edu/grants/Pages/oc/oyes-online-training.aspx.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Oregon Young Employee Safety Coalition (O[yes]) is a nonprofit dedicated to preventing young worker injuries and fatalities. (O[yes]) members include safety and health professionals, educators, employers, labor and trade associations, and regulators. For more information, go to http://youngemployeesafety.org/.

Chemeketa Community College welcomes health insurance enrollment event to Yamhill Valley Campus in McMinnville - 01/03/17

(Salem) -- Students at Chemeketa Community College's Yamhill Valley Campus in McMinnville are invited to sign up for health insurance during an enrollment event that will include free in-person help with the application.

The enrollment event will be 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 9, at the college, 288 NE Norton Lane, McMinnville.

Residents of Yamhill County also are invited.

PH Tech, a community partner of Oregon's Health Insurance Marketplace, is hosting the event. PH Tech's trained and experienced staff can help attendees apply for coverage and sort through health plan options. The event arrives as open enrollment runs through Jan. 31 for those who buy plans on their own because they do not have coverage through their employer.

Attendees should bring the following household information:
* Social security numbers and birth dates
* Immigration documentation
* Employer and income information
* Federal tax information
* Policy numbers and plan names for current insurance.

More information
The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace offers general information for consumers through a local service center, which can be reached by calling 1-855-268-3767 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or by email at info.marketplace@oregon.gov

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The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: http://twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.

New safety rules coming to construction industry in 2017 - 12/29/16

(Salem) -- In 2017, employers who do construction work in Oregon will see two major changes to rules they must follow to protect their workers from falling and injuring themselves.

The changes are as follows:

* Starting Jan. 1, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division's (Oregon OSHA) 10-foot trigger height -- the minimum height at which workers must be protected from falls -- will lower to six feet.
* Starting Oct. 1, slide guards will no longer be allowed as a method of protecting workers from falling off of sloped roofs.

The new requirements mean that construction contractors will need to use some form of fall protection to prevent their employees from falling six feet or more to a lower level. Moreover, construction contractors using slide guards as a primary means of fall protection will need to use a different protection method.

Equipment is available to meet the new standards, including personal fall arrest and fall restraint systems. It is also important for construction contractors to make fall protection an essential part of an overall safety program that keeps workplaces free of hazards.

"We've come a long way in Oregon in reducing injuries and deaths from falls, particularly in construction, but we still have a ways to go," said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. "The new standards further underscore the importance of employers and employees working together to bring all of their safety tools to bear as we enter 2017."

Falls to a lower level are the leading type of fall in Oregon's construction industry. From 2013 to 2015, a total of 774 construction workers were injured by falling to a lower level. In 2016, general fall-protection requirements were the most-cited construction-industry rule, with 289 total violations (221 serious and 68 repeat) and initial penalties totaling $603,010.

Nationwide, the construction industry has the greatest number of both fatal and nonfatal traumatic brain injuries among workplaces, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. From 2003 to 2010, 2,210 construction workers died because of a traumatic brain injury.

The six-foot trigger-height requirement is not entirely new for Oregon construction contractors. It has been required for many years for work on established floors, mezzanines, balconies, and walkways that have unprotected sides and edges. Many large commercial construction contractors already require the use of fall protection at six feet.

More likely to be affected by the new requirements are contractors who do construction projects on single-family homes that have a ground-to-eave height between six and 10 feet, and those who do projects where slide guards are used for fall protection.

The rule changes stem from a federal OSHA decision several years ago to begin enforcing its existing fall protection requirements in residential construction. As a result, federal OSHA advised Oregon OSHA that the Oregon rules no longer met the requirement of both state and federal law and that the Oregon rules must be at least as effective as the comparable federal requirements.

In drafting changes to existing rules during the summer of 2015, Oregon OSHA took input from an advisory group of leaders in the commercial and residential construction sectors. Following those meetings, Oregon OSHA formally proposed changes to the rule and accepted public comment at five hearings held throughout the state in January 2016.

Oregon OSHA's technical staff can answer questions to help employers understand how to apply rules to their workplace:

Phone: 503-378-3272
Toll-free: 800-922-2689
Email: tech.web@oregon.gov
Online: http://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/Contact-Technical.aspx

Employers may also contact Oregon OSHA's no-cost consultation services for help with safety and health programs:

Toll-free: 800-922-2689
Field offices: http://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/maps.aspx
Email: consult.web@oregon.gov

To get a fact sheet about the fall-protection rule changes, go to http://osha.oregon.gov/OSHAPubs/factsheets/fs64.pdf

For more information about fall protection, visit Oregon OSHA's A-to-Z topic index at http://osha.oregon.gov/Pages/topics/fall-protection.aspx


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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit www.osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov. Follow DCBS on Twitter: twitter.com/OregonDCBS. Receive consumer help and information on insurance, mortgages, investments, workplace safety, and more.