Employers who are required to keep an OSHA 300 log have new guidance from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on when it might consider COVID-19 work-related and thus potentially recordable. Ordinarily, there is a presumption of work-relatedness for COVID-19 resulting from exposure in the work environment, unless an employer can show the illness resulted solely from non-work-related exposure. For many employers, it will be hard to know whether the illness developed from work-related or non-work-related exposure. Employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations (e.g., emergency medical, firefighting, and law enforcement services), and correctional institutions must continue to follow this presumption. However, until further notice, OSHA will not enforce the requirement for other employers to make the same work-relatedness determinations, except where:
- There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related. Evidence could include, for example, several cases developing among workers who work closely together without an alternative explanation; and
- The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. For purposes of this memorandum, examples of reasonably available evidence include information given to the employer by employees, as well as information that an employer learns regarding its employees’ health and safety in the ordinary course of managing its business and employees.
Access the guidance here.
If you aren’t sure you are an employer who must keep an OSHA 300 log, access that guidance here.
If you have questions about this or other OSHA recordkeeping issues, contact Jennifer Vold at firstname.lastname@example.org.