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OSHA Issues Guidance for Recordkeeping of COVID-19 in the Workplace

On April 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.

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 the regulations; and
  • Involves one or more of the general recording criteria, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or drugs away from work.

OSHA noted that certain employers other than healthcare emergency response (medical and fire) along with law enforcement and correctional facilities may have difficulty in determining the worker contracted COVID-19 at work.

Thus, OSHA indicates that until further notice it will not enforce record keeping for most employees for COVID-19 except where:

  1. Objective evidence that a case of COVID-19 may be work-related, and
  2. Evidence was reasonably available to the employer.

As such, employers of workers in healthcare, emergency response, and correctional facilities must continue to make work-related determinations of COVID-19 and record it.

NOTE: Determinations for OSHA recordkeeping for a work related condition is NOT an admission of liability/coverage of a claim of COVID-19 under the Illinois Workers Compensation/Occupational Disease Acts.

Questions? Contact attorney Anthony J. Caruso, Jr., in our St. Charles office at (630) 377-1554 or by email at ancaruso@wesselssherman.com

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