Safety and OSHA News

OSHA clarifies recording requirements for on-the-job COVID-19 cases

OSHA provided clarification regarding COVID-19 and the agency’s recordkeeping requirements, making recording of the illness much less likely for most businesses outside of healthcare.

The agency won’t enforce its recording requirements for COVID-19 cases outside of the healthcare industry unless some specific conditions are first met.

While COVID-19 is a recordable illness under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, it should only be recorded if the case:

  • is confirmed as COVID-19
  • is work-related as defined by 29CFR 1904.5, and
  • involves medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work, as described in 29CFR 1904.7.

However, in areas where there’s ongoing community transmission, OSHA realizes it may be difficult for employers other than those in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions to determine if a COVID-19 case occurred on the job, according to an April 10 Department of Labor news release.

Until further notice, OSHA is not enforcing its recordkeeping requirements in COVID-19 cases for employers outside of the industries listed above unless:

  • there is objective evidence a COVID-19 case may be work-related, and
  • the evidence was reasonably available to the employer.

Employers in the healthcare, emergency response and correctional industries must still make work-related determinations of COVID-19 cases as per OSHA regulations.

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