The Occupational Safety and Health Administration on April 10 issued interim guidance for enforcing its recordkeeping requirements as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.

Under OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904), 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 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.

In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers other than those in the health care 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. Accordingly, until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: 1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and 2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer.

Employers of workers in the health care industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions must continue to make work-relatedness determinations pursuant to 29 CFR Part 1904.

The purpose of OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) is to require employers to record and report work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses. Recording or reporting a work-related injury, illness or fatality does not mean that the employer or employee was at fault, that an OSHA rule has been violated, or that the employee is eligible for workers’ compensation or other benefits.

For more information and resources, visit OSHA’s COVID-19 webpage.