OSHA Releases Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of COVID-19
May 21, 2020
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a memorandum providing interim guidance for enforcing the requirements of recording cases of COVID-19, which will go into effect on May 26. This guidance is intended to be time-limited to the current COVID-19 public health crisis, and officials advise checking the OSHA webpage for updates.
Under OSHA's recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and thus employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if:
- The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- The case is work-related as defined by 29 CFR § 1904.5; and
- The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR § 1904.7.
Because of the difficulty with determining work-relatedness, OSHA is exercising enforcement discretion to assess employers' efforts in making work-related determinations.
In determining whether an employer has complied with this obligation and made a reasonable determination of work-relatedness, OSHA outlined several considerations that Certified Safety and Health Officials should apply.