Oregon OSHA flooded with coronavirus-related complaints

Coronavirus

Oregon OSHA has received more than 1,000 complaints in a single week

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Since the governor issued the “Stay Home, Save Lives” order last week, the state has received hundreds of complaints about employers accused of ignoring the rules. State regulators said they will start following up on those complaints next week.

To put the numbers in perspective, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration usually receives a little over 2,000 complaints a year. Oregon OSHA said they’ve received roughly 1,000 complaints in about a week. Officials said based on the complaints, they will start inspections to see if employers are complying.

“Next week, we expect to conduct inspections,” said Aaron Corvin, Oregon OSHA Public Information Officer.

Oregon OSHA Public Information Office Aaron Corvin speaks with KOIN 6 News via video conference. March 29, 2020 (KOIN)

According to Corvin, there are 75 compliance officers that are ready to enforce the governor’s order as needed.

“More recently, we are seeing complaints involving concerns about a lack of social distancing,” said Corvin. “A lack of enforcement by employers of the social distancing that obviously has been called for and is needed for all the obvious reasons. So, those are some of the things we are screening for.”

Corvin said the most frequent complaints include failing to implement social distancing practices, a lack of cleaning supplies to clean surfaces and facilities, and a lack of means to wash or sanitize hands—including a lack of soap and water stations.

Oregon OSHA has received most of its complaints through its website’s “file a complaint” page.

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