Your Health and Safety Rights

This page provides you with links and resources to regulatory requirements that employers must follow to provide a safe and healthy workplace for employees and to information that you should know in case you are injured on the job.

For general information from Oregon Public Health Program (OPHP) go to

Oregon OSHA workplace safety regulations

The Oregon Safe Employment Act ORS 654 requires employers to provide each employee a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards. Follow this link to find out more about workplace safety regulations, workplace employee safety committees and how to file a complaint to Oregon OSHA at

Safety Committees and Safety Meetings

Oregon OSHA requires that employers in Oregon (with a few exceptions) must have a workplace safety committee or if an employer meets certain criteria may conduct workplace safety meetings in lieu of having a committee. This requirement is described in OAR 437-001-0765.

A safety committee must have an equal number of employer selected members and employee-elected (or volunteer) members. A workplace safety committee in a health care facility should address occupational safety and health issues related to employee safety. A patient safety committee should be a separate entity to a workplace safety committee.

To read more about safety committees go to

Workers Compensation

If you are injured or develop an illness from a workplace exposure it is important that you know your employers’ incident reporting procedure. Most organizations require that you report occupational injuries within a certain time frame and to complete an incident report. Make sure that you keep a copy of the incident report. If you require medical attention, the employer must complete a Form 801 that is filed with the employer’s worker compensation insurance carrier or third party administrator. Make sure that you keep a copy of this report too.

If you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim that your employer or insurance carrier has not answered clearly for you contact the Office of the Ombudsman for Injured Workers. They are an independent advocate for Oregon's injured workers and can help you informally resolve any problems or disputes that might arise between the parties involved in your claim, and can answer your questions about the workers' compensation system. Go to for contact information.

Return to Work Programs

The State of Oregon has two programs that can help employers and injured workers return to work.

The Employer-at-Injury Program (EAIP) encourages the early return to work of injured workers by helping defray an employer’s early return-to-work costs and reducing claim costs. The program can provide up to $2500 for equipment that would assist an injured worker return to work on transitional or light duty. For example, in many hospitals patient handling equipment has been purchased for nurses who were injured when manually lifting patients.

The Preferred Worker Program (PWP) encourages the re-employment of qualified Oregon workers who have permanent disabilities from on-the-job injuries and who are not able to return to their regular employment because of those injuries. For example, an ONA member who was injured and permanently disabled while manually lifting patients was able to return to her unit with help from PWP funds that were used to purchase several pieces of lift equipment that enabled her to return to work safely.

ONA resources

To find out more about consultation services and legal assistance available to ONA members please contact ONA at Tel: 503-293-0011 or e-mail Professional Services.