Summary: More than 1,300 businesses applied in the first 5 days.
Oregon businesses who missed the opportunity to apply for the coronavirus worker safety fund will have a second chance today, after the fund reopened with an additional $15 million.
The fund, established by SAIF, was closed five business days after its launch on March 31 after more than 1,300 businesses applied and used the initial $10 million available. The applications represented small and large businesses from a wide range of industries across the state.
The fund is designed to support employee safety, reduce injuries, and decrease exposures by helping businesses impacted by the coronavirus. More than 53,000 SAIF policyholders across the state are eligible for funds.
“We received tremendous interest in the fund initially, and it’s clear businesses needed this support right now,” said Kerry Barnett, president and CEO of SAIF. “We’re pleased to provide funding for a large majority of the requests we received.”
Some of the most common requests that SAIF is supporting include personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies. In addition, resources to redesign or modify workspaces to encourage social distancing; mental health and wellness initiatives; and coronavirus and job reassignment safety training are eligible. Ineligible expenses include telecommuting and regular staffing expenses, including labor costs for employees reassigned to new positions.
SAIF recommends policyholders submit applications as soon as possible, given how quickly the initial funding was exhausted. We don’t anticipate additional funding. Policyholders who previously applied do not need to apply again; applications are still being processed from the first round of funding.
More information, including the application, can be found at saif.com/safetyfund.