News COVID-19

OSHA Revises Policies Regarding Coronavirus

Order Reprints

May 21, 2020—The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted revised policies for enforcing OSHA's requirements with respect to coronavirus, according to a press release.

OSHA is increasing in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. The risk of transmission is lower in specific categories of workplaces, and personal protective equipment potentially needed for inspections is more widely available.

Now, under OSHA's record-keeping requirements, coronavirus is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of the coronavirus, if the case:

  • Is confirmed as a coronavirus 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.

Recording an illness does not mean the employer has violated any OSHA standard. 

Employers with 10 or fewer employees and certain employers in low hazard industries have no recording obligations; they need only report work-related coronavirus illnesses that result in a fatality or an employee's in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye.

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