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OSHA Labels COVID-19 as Recordable Illness

ISA reports that three specific criteria must be met to be considered work-related.




The International Sign Association (ISA; Alexandria, VA) recently reported in its Daily Industry Digest e-newsletter that OSHA has reversed course on an important aspect of COVID-19 and now may now label COVID-19 as a recordable illness if three criteria are met.

Those criteria are as follows:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
  2. The case is work-related as defined by 29 CFR § 1904.5; and
  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR § 1904.7.

The report went on to state that in a May 19 memo, OSHA notes that it can be difficult to determine if the illness is work-related, especially when an employee has experienced exposure inside and outside the workplace. However, companies must make a “reasonable effort” to make that determination.

Those with fewer than 10 employees do not have to abide by the record-keeping requirements, according to EHS Today. OSHA also has increased inspections, issuing new guidance to inspectors. In a memo, also issued May 19, OSHA noted that its staff would prioritize COVID-19 inspections. OSHA had said in April that it would consider “good faith” efforts of employers, but reversed course in May, per ISA.

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