The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued interim guidance on the duties that employers have when recording cases of COVID-19. These guidelines were issued on April 10, 2020 and will last for the duration of the pandemic. OSHA states that employers must report any confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
Work-related cases involving OSHA general criteria need to be reported immediately. A work-related condition includes exposure to COVID-19 in the work environment causing or contributing to the resulting condition or aggravating a pre-existing illness. OSHA general recording guidelines include injury or illness resulting in death, days missed from work, restricted work, or a severe diagnosis by a physician. OSHA treats COVID-19 as a recordable illness that can cause missed workdays and, in some cases, death. Unlike the flu or common cold, COVID-19 is recordable due to its dangerous nature and how highly contagious the virus is.
If there is a COVID-19 diagnosis in the workplace, it can be hard to determine if the worker contracted the illness from the work environment or from another source. OSHA determined that they will enforce the reporting of all cases except for those where a cluster of cases emerge among those working in close proximity and employers who knew about current cases in the workplace. OSHA continues to enforce employers to focus on implementing good hygiene practices to reduce the effects of COVID-19.
During this difficult time in our country, employers still need to record any work-related injury or illness, including COVID-19. For concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, contact the attorneys at MacMain, Connell & Leinhauser at 484-318-7106 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Philadelphia, Chester County, and New Jersey.