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Posted on: March 29, 2021

Commissioner Freeman Strongly Opposes Oregon OSHA Making the Temporary COVID Health Emergency Rules

DC Comm TF

March 31, 2021

 RE: Commissioner Freeman Strongly Opposes Oregon OSHA Making the Temporary COVID Health Emergency Rules Permanent for Businesses

Douglas County Commissioner Tim Freeman sent a direct response to Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (Oregon OSHA) today, in response to their proposal to make the current temporary rules addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency in all Oregon workplaces permanent rules.  Click on the link below to read Oregon OSHA’s permanent rule proposal.  

  1. As a former state legislator, I want to be absolutely clear that OSHA, nor any other state agency, should have rule making authority without legislative oversight. 
  2. OSHA, OLCC and other state agency staff are not elected by the people, and therefore are not accountable to the people. 
  3. OSHA, OLCC and other state agencies are not focused on the bigger picture, and often times do not understand the full impact of the rules on our citizens.
  4. The Oregon legislature has had a year to deal with the pandemic safety measures and properly address them. In my opinion, the legislature is just as much at fault for the state agencies over reach as the agencies are. There is absolutely no reason why our legislature has not dealt with this issue. 
  5. Making permanent rules just because the statutory time frame for temporary rules is going to expire, is not acceptable. COVID-19 like all viruses before, in the scope of time, are temporary. So, there is no need for permanent rules.  
  6. OSHA, OLCC, and other state regulatory agencies are not public health experts. Oregon utilizes local public health authorities (County Commissioners) to deliver public health services. We as county commissioners hire local expert public health staff to do this work.
  7. There should never be a required or mandated vaccine of any kind. Vaccines work, and if the public is given good, honest and clear information, then citizens should want to get the vaccine. Regardless, it should be a personal choice.  
  8. Government should never attempt to force the public into getting something they do not want!

FOR THESE REASONS, I STRONGLY OPPOSE OREGON OSHA ADOPTING THESE PERMANENT RULES.  

FYI: These are Oregon OSHA’s proposed final rules. Let your voice be known!  OSHA is currently taking public comments on their rule proposal and your comments will be considered as part of the official record. The deadline for citizens, elected officials and businesses to submit comments about Oregon OSHA’s proposal to make the temporary  COVID-19 Public Health Emergency rules permanent is Friday, April 2, 2021.   Send your written comments to tech.web@oregon.gov by April 2, or contact Oregon OSHA directly: Matt Kaiser, Technical Specialist at phone: (971) 707-0939 and email: Matthew.C.Kaiser@oregon.gov

Click here to read OSHA's proposal for the permanent rule for businesses.

Respectfully,

Tim Freeman

Former Oregon State Representative and current Douglas County Commissioner

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