The U.S. Department of Labor Issues Enforcement Guidance For Recording Cases of COVID-19

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 it involves the following:

  • 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.

Employers may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. As a result, as of now, OSHA will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, unless: (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.

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