OSHA Provides Guidance for Recording COVID-19 Cases
OSHA has issued interim guidance for enforcing its recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as they relate to recording cases of COVID-19.
Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if the case:
- Is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness
- Is work-related as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5
- Involves one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7, such as medical treatment beyond first-aid or days away from work
The agency points out that in areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers other than those in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations (e.g., emergency medical, firefighting and law enforcement services) and correctional institutions may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work.
Accordingly, until further notice, OSHA has stated that it will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. Employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions must continue to make work-relatedness determinations pursuant to 29 CFR Part 1904.