Understand and Make a public comment

by Mr X and Bill Meyer

OSHA

Oregon OSHA’s Proposal on Rules Addressing the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in All Oregon Workplaces January 2021 Text removed is in [brackets with line through]. Text added is in bold and underline. 437-001-0744 Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks Unless otherwise indicated, the rule’s provisions take effect [November 16, 2020.The rule will]May 4, 2021, and remain in effect until [May 4, 2021, unless]revised or repealed [before that date]. Note: Although the rule must be adopted as a permanent rule, its purpose is to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon OSHA intends to repeal the rule when it is no longer necessary to address that pandemic. Because it is not possible to assign a specific time for that decision, Oregon OSHA will consult with the Oregon OSHA Partnership Committee, the Oregon Health Authority, and other stakeholders as circumstances change to determine when all or part of the rule can be appropriately repealed. (1) Scope and Application (a) This rule applies to all employees working in places of employment subject to Oregon OSHA’s jurisdiction.

 For clarity and ease of reference, this rule refers to “COVID-19” when describing exposures or potential exposures to SARSCoV-2, the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019.

Public health law examines the authority of the government at various jurisdictional levels to improve the health of the general population within societal limits and norms. Local and state health agencies are the first line of preparedness for infectious disease pandemics and other threats to the health of the public. Their success hinges on many factors, including, their “legal preparedness,” that is, their understanding of and capacity to use, laws and legal authorities that support effective response. Those legal authorities are complex and involve laws at the federal, state, local, and Tribal levels. Further, they are found in multiple sectors, including not only the public health sector but also such sectors as emergency management, health care, law enforcement, education, and transportation.

https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/Preparedness/Partners/Pages/PublicHealthLawinEmergencies.aspx

Here is Bill’s Summary of the discussion with Ed, with specific points to consider when creating your public comment.

OSHA wants to make COVID rules PERMANENT – send your meaningful public comment in by close of business Friday.

tech.web@oregon.gov is the comment email address.

Here is the pdf of the OSHA rules proposal for reference. OSHA permanent rule Info

Points you could  make in your comments – try to make as much of it in your own words, of course:

  1. Describe in your own words the detrimental effects the current rules have had on you, your business, and the economy, and how making this permanent would affect you.  
  2. OSHA refers to “Covid-19”, which is a collection of symptoms which cover at least 5 other coronavirus illnesses. SARS CoV-2 is the infectious agent of concern, which has not been isolated. OSHA may desire to call it Covid-19 for clarity and ease of implementations, but OSHA’s rules don’t permit this, and again it violates constitutional provisions.
  3. ORS 183.400 4a indicates if a rule violates constitutional provisions that it’s null and void.
  4. OSHA has engaged “stakeholders” with regard to their “Covid-19” rule making. The term “stakeholder” indicates that it used  a Consensus Process, and according to ORS 183.400, was adopted without compliance with applicable rulemaking procedures. The agency can normally use a consensus process only if there isn’t other existing law and procedure available. In other words, OSHA has used a fraudulent consensus process to arrive at these rules.
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