OSHA issues enforcement guidance for recording COVID-19 cases

April 15, 2020

Record-keeping requirements will not be enforced to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s record-keeping requirements as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.

Under the administration's record-keeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if the case is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness; is work-related as defined by OSHA regulations; or involves one or more of the general recording criteria in OSHA's guidelines, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.

OSHA says that until further notice, the agency will not enforce its record-keeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where there is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related and/or the evidence was reasonably available to the employer. Employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions must continue to make work-relatedness determinations pursuant to OSHA requirements.

OSHA says its enforcement policy will provide certainty to the regulated community and help employers focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces and otherwise mitigating COVID-19’s effects.

More information on OSHA's enforcement guidance for recording COVID-19 cases can be found on the agency's website.