OSHA Relaxes Recording Requirements
Volume: 19 | Issue: 19
April 13, 2020
On April 10, 2020, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
announced that it will not require many employers to record cases of COVID-19 as occupational illnesses so that employers can “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 temporary measure takes effect immediately. It does not apply to employers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations (emergency medical, firefighting and law enforcement), or correctional institutions.
Because many employers “may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work,” OSHA will not enforce its record-keeping standard, 29 C.F.R. § 1904, to require employers to make work-relatedness determinations, except where:
“(1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related. This could include, for example, a number of cases developing among workers who work closely together without an alternative explanation; and
(2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. For purposes of this memorandum, examples of reasonably available evidence include information given to the employer by employees, as well as information that an employer learns regarding its employees’ health and safety in the ordinary course of managing its business and employees.”
OSHA further reminds employers to continue regularly checking its webpage
for COVID-19 guidance and information.
KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.