OSHA Updates Its COVID-19 Recordkeeping Guidance, Giving Employers Helpful Guardrails

COVID-19 has reached virtually the entire country, and both employers and employees in a broad range of industries have experienced outbreaks. At the same time, the government and private sector continue to take steps to slow the virus’s spread and protect employees while adapting to the new business environment. In recognition of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is applying updated guidance in an effort to provide additional clarity to employers and workers.

On May 26, 2020, OSHA issued updated guidance concerning employers’ recordkeeping responsibilities with respect to employee COVID-19 cases. Under OSHA’s general recordkeeping requirements, employers would be responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if: (1) the case is confirmed as a case of COVID-19; (2) exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to the illness; and (3) the infection results in death or significant injury, time off work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness. However, in recognition that it remains difficult to determine whether a COVID-19 illness is work-related, OSHA is exercising its enforcement discretion to articulate and enforce specific recordkeeping requirements for such illnesses.

For more details on OSHA’s updated guidance, please see the full alert on the Faegre Drinker website.