On April 10, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued interim guidance for recording cases of COVID-19. The memorandum provides guidance for enforcing the requirements of their recordkeeping standard 29 CFR Part 1904 with respect to the recording of 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:
OSHA understands that 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. In light of this difficulty, until further notice OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904 to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations, except where:
Employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations (e.g., emergency medical, firefighting, and law enforcement services), and correctional institutions must continue to make work-relatedness determinations pursuant to 29 CFR 1904.
OSHA hopes this enforcement policy will help employers focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces, and otherwise mitigating COVID-19’s effects, rather than on making difficult work-relatedness decisions in circumstances where there is community transmission.
This guidance has taken effect immediately and will remain in effect until further notice. Please frequently check OSHA’s webpage at www.osha.gov/coronavirus for updates.
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