Oregon Exit Routes laws & safety compliance analysis

Oregon Exit Routes: What you need to know

Oregon has adopted workplace safety rules for exit routes (OAR 437-002-0041) that mirror federal rules, and has adopted additional provisions for refuge areas, counterweight safeguards, and walk-in cold storage facilities that are stricter than federal rules.

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The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services/Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) administers and enforces safety and health rules in private and public sector workplaces.

OAR 437-002-0041

Refuge areas. A refuge area must be either:

  • A space along an exit route protected from the effects of fire either by separation from other spaces within the building or by its location; or
  • A floor with at least two spaces separated by smoke-resistant partitions, in a building where each floor is protected by an automatic sprinkler system.

Counterweights. Counterweights that are near enough to passageways or work areas to cause a hazard must have a guard or enclosure sufficient to protect workers from contact with the counterweight when it moves.

Walk-in cold storage facilities. Such facilities must have doors with latches or closing devices that open from the inside without a key or special knowledge or effort.

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