OSHA issues interim guidance for recordkeeping requirements

From OSHA

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as it relates 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; and
  • 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.

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 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.

OSHA’s enforcement policy will provide certainty to the regulated community and help employers focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces and otherwise mitigating COVID-19’s effects.

For further information and resources about the coronavirus disease, please visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

Associated Builders and Contractors Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore issued the following statement Monday on the release of Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s April 10 guidance on recording cases of COVID-19:

“ABC is pleased OSHA has clarified its position regarding the recordability of COVID-19 cases under its recordkeeping rules, which provides greater certainty to our member contractors. As a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition, we expressed in a March letter to OSHA significant concerns about putting construction contractors in an almost impossible position of determining whether a particular case of COVID-19 that presents in the workplace is considered ‘work-related.’ The updated OSHA guidance will continue to let contractors focus on the taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and overall jobsite safety, which is paramount for ABC and its 21,000-plus members.”

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