Occupational Safety and Health

ORS 654.035
Scope of rules and orders


The Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services may, by general or special orders, or by regulations, rules, codes or otherwise:


Declare and prescribe what devices, safeguards or other means of protection and what methods, processes or work practices are well adapted to render every employment and place of employment safe and healthful.


Fix reasonable standards and prescribe and enforce reasonable orders for the adoption, installation, use and maintenance of devices, safeguards and other means of protection, and of methods, processes and work practices, including, but not limited to, work practices qualifications for equipment, materials and activities requiring special competence, to be as nearly uniform as possible, as may be necessary to carry out all laws relative to the protection of the life, safety and health of employees.


Fix and order reasonable standards for the construction, repair and maintenance of places of employment and equipment that will render them safe and healthful.


Fix standards for routine, periodic or area inspections of places of employment that are reasonably necessary in order to determine compliance with all occupational safety and health laws and the regulations, rules and standards adopted under occupational safety and health laws. Except for complaint inspections, follow-up inspections, imminent danger inspections, referral inspections and inspections to determine the cause of an occupational death, injury or illness, all inspections shall be based on written neutral administrative standards. The standards shall include a prioritized scheduling system for inspections that predominantly focuses enforcement activities upon places of employment that the director reasonably believes to be the most unsafe. The standards shall be accessible to employers under ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (Exemption for Judicial Department) for at least 36 months from the last date the standards are in effect. The director shall notify in writing each employer whose place of employment is rated by the director as one of the most unsafe places of employment in the state of the increased likelihood of inspection of the employer’s place of employment and of the availability of consultative services. The director may by rule offer incentives to employers that elect consultative services before an inspection is conducted. Nothing in this paragraph prevents the director from conducting a random inspection of a place of employment as long as the inspection is scheduled and conducted pursuant to written neutral administrative standards.


Require the performance of any other act that the protection of the life, safety and health of employees in employments and places of employment may demand.


The director may not require the use of fall protection by workers engaged in steel erection at heights lower than the heights at which fall protection relating to steel erection is required by federal regulation. [Amended by 1973 c.833 §11; 1987 c.884 §9; 1999 c.1017 §2; 2003 c.595 §§1,2; 2005 c.27 §§1,2; 2007 c.686 §1]
§§ 654.001 to 654.295

Notes of Decisions

Safety codes under Oregon Safe Employment Act apply to all work places and not only to work places covered by Employer Liability Law. Miller v. Ga.-Pacific, 294 Or 750, 662 P2d 718 (1983)

Violation of Workers' Compensation Department rule resulting in injury to nonemploye is not negligence per se, but it does not follow that rule is irrelevant to determination of due care in case grounded in common law negligence. Shahtout v. Emco Garbage Co., 298 Or 598, 695 P2d 897 (1985)

Where right of action for injuries exists resulting from violation of Oregon Safe Employment Act, right belongs only to employee whom Act directly protects not "indirect" employee. Flores v. Metro Machinery Rigging, Inc., 99 Or App 636, 783 P2d 1024 (1989), Sup Ct review denied

Referee did not err in finding employer in violation of rule requiring workers to be "properly...supervised" where employee killed in accident was skilled and experienced supervisor working with two other supervisors during strike, but none of the three was in charge. Accident Prevention Div. v. Roseburg Forest Prod., 106 Or App 69, 806 P2d 172 (1991)

Whether identity of complainant falsely reporting violation is subject to disclosure under Oregon public records law ([former] ORS 192.410 et seq.) depends on complainant's good or bad faith in making complaint. Hood Technology Corp. v. Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division, 168 Or App 293, 7 P3d 564 (2000)

Chapter 654

Notes of Decisions

An administrative regulation requires Accident Prevention Division to prove reasonableness of civil penalty imposed for violation of Oregon State Employment Act. Accident Prevention Div. v. Sunrise Seed, 26 Or App 879, 554 P2d 550 (1976)

Accident Prevention Division rule allowing citation for "repeat violation" of division's safety standards while prior citation is contested and not yet upheld by final order is within agency's authority to promulgate rules consistent with purpose of Act to assure as far as possible safe and healthful working conditions. Accident Prevention Div. v. Hoffman Construction, 64 Or App 73, 667 P2d 543 (1983)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Inapplicability of occupational safety and health laws to inmates in prison work programs, (1996) Vol 48, p 134


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Jun. 26, 2021