Oregon OSHA has recently implemented new rules that impact outdoor work when the heat index at worksites is at or above 80 degrees, as well as when there is wildfire smoke present. The heat rules specify certain actions that must be taken to protect workers from heat related illness, including access to shade, drinking water, more frequent breaks, employee training, and an emergency plan. In response to these new rules, and to help protect employees, the Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA) has created a Heat Illness Prevention Plan. View the plan and an overview of the key requirements on OHBA’s website here. Oregon OSHA’s recently adopted emergency rules protecting workers from wildfire smoke took effect on August 9th and will remain in place for six months while permanent rules are drafted. Under these rules, employers whose employees will be exposed to wildfire smoke when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is at or above 101 will need to provide a KN95 or N95 mask to employees that request to wear a mask for personal protection from wildfire smoke. When the AQI is above 201 to 499, builders must require employees to wear the mask but are not required to get fit-tested and evaluated for formal respirator use. You can read more about the wildfire smoke protection requirements on OHBA’s website here. OHBA has asked the state to provide KN95 and N95 mask at no charge for this wildfire season. OSHA has agreed, and KN95 or N95 masks will be available for distribution to contractors through HBA starting on Wednesday, August 18th. Members and contractors can stop by HBA's office (15555 SW Bangy Rd, Ste. 301, Lake Oswego, 97035) at any time, Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, to pick up masks for their employees. The new rules do not apply to intermittent exposure of less than 15 minutes in an hour or short-duration exposure of less than two hours in a single 24-hour period. The rules also do not apply to buildings or enclosed vehicles with a mechanical ventilation system. For more information regarding picking up masks, contact HBA at 503-684-1880.