Construction safety summit coming to Central Oregon

SALEM — The 19th annual Mid-Oregon Construction Safety Summit, a two-day conference in Central Oregon that will focus on the safety and health of workers in residential, commercial and industrial construction, will take place Jan. 27-28 in Bend. Fall protection, personal protective equipment silica hazards and electrical safety are among the included topics.

Training sessions, from Oregon OSHA training for construction to work zone safety and flagging will be available to those who attend, and they will be able to attain certifications or recertifications. An opportunity to earn continuing education credits through Oregon’s Construction Contractors Board and Landscape Contractors Board will also be offered.

Matt Pomerinke of Longview, Washington, will deliver the keynote presentation, “Accidents are Forever,” Jan. 28. Pomerinke, who at 21 years old had his arm amputated below the elbow following a lumber mill accident, shares his story now to help prevent similar accidents.

Other workshops include:

  • Excavation safety and soil classification
  • Fall prevention
  • Safety leadership and culture
  • Cool tools and apps for construction
  • What to expect from an Oregon OSHA enforcement inspection
  • Multi-employer worksites
  • Heat stress and Total Worker Health
  • Safety meetings
  • Marijuana and the workplace Registration for pre-conference workshops on Jan. 27 is $50. The Jan. 28 conference is $85. Registration for the OSHA 10-hour training for construction is $140 for both days. And the cost of attending the silica competent person workshop on Jan. 27 is $75.

To register, go to https://safetyseries.cvent. com/summit20. For questions or help registering, call the Oregon OSHA Conference Section at 503-947-7411.

Oregon taxpayers changing their state withholding must use Oregon’s OR-W-4 form

SALEM — Oregon taxpayers who are making changes to state withholding must use a form OR-W-4, according to the Oregon Department of Revenue. The new federal Form W-4 cannot be used for Oregon withholdings as it doesn’t use allowances, and Oregon withholding is calculated using allowances.

Prior Oregon or federal withholding statements used for Oregon withholding can remain if the taxpayer doesn’t change their withholding elections.

“We encourage Oregon taxpayers to check their withholding for tax year 2020,” Personal Tax and Compliance Division Administrator JoAnn Martin said in a press release from ODR. “Not withholding enough during the year could lead to an unexpected tax bill in 2021.”

A Form OR-W-4 should be provided by employers to employees when an employee gives them a new federal Form W-4.

Taxpayers who are more at risk for withholding too little include those who started a new job in 2019 or later; updated their federal Form W-4 in 2018 or 2019; previously claimed federal deductions that were impacted by federal tax law changes, such as the employee business expense deduction; or live in a two-earner household.

Taxpayers can find Form OR-W-4 and determine the correct amount to withhold by using the online withholding calculator on the department’s website at www. oregon.gov/dor.

Tax season officially opens Jan. 27

LA GRANDE — The IRS has confirmed Jan. 27 as the first day the tax agency will accept and begin processing 2019 tax returns. The deadline to file tax returns for 2019 and pay any owed taxes is April 15, which this year fall on a Wednesday. More than 150 million individual tax returns are expected to be filed, according to a press release from the IRS. Taxpayers may prepare returns through the IRS’s Free File program or tax software companies and tax professionals before the start date, but processing returns will begin after IRS systems open later in January.

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