- Contingent Workforce Strategies 3.0 - http://cwstrategies.staffingindustry.com -

OSHA issues new Covid-19 reporting guidance

New guidance went into effect last week from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding how companies and agency representatives should handle Covid-19-related complaints, referrals and severe illness reports. The guidance replaced previous guidance in which OSHA limited companies’ obligations in reporting cases of Covid-19 in the workplace.

Recording a Covid-19 illness does not, of itself, mean that the employer has violated any OSHA standard, the agency said. Further, employers with 10 or fewer employees and certain employers in low-hazard industries have no recording obligations; they need only report work-related Covid-19 illnesses that result in a fatality or an employee’s in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.

Because of the difficulty with determining work-relatedness of Covid-19 infections, 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 is directing its compliance safety and health officers to apply the following considerations:

If, after the reasonable and good faith inquiry described above, the employer cannot determine whether it is more likely than not that exposure in the workplace played a causal role with respect to a particular case of Covid-19, the employer does not need to record that Covid-19 illness. In all events, it is important as a matter of worker health and safety, as well as public health, for an employer to examine Covid-19 cases among workers and respond appropriately to protect workers, regardless of whether a case is ultimately determined to be work-related.