The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers regarding the need to report employees’ in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities resulting from work-related cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). The FAQs provide information to help employers apply injury and illness recording and reporting requirements to COVID-19.
The FAQs provide guidance on calculating reporting deadlines for in-patient hospitalizations fatalities and clarify the meaning of “incident” as it relates to work-related COVID-19 in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities.
OSHA previously adopted two revised policies for enforcing requirements and standards with respect to the coronavirus. The administration announced it is increasing in person inspections and issued new enforcement guidance related to such inspections. OSHA also revised its previous enforcement policy for recording cases of coronavirus. The virus is a recordable illness and employers are responsible for recording cases if the case is work-related and involves one or more general recording criteria, according to OSHA.
In addition to the FAQs, the OSHA also reported it has cited 37 establishments for COVID-19 violations, with proposed penalties totaling $484,069. The violations include failures to implement a written respiratory protection program, failures to provide a medical evaluation, a respirator fit test, training on the proper use of a respirator, and personal protective equipment, and failures to report injuries, illnesses, or fatalities.
In May, OSHA launched a webpage dedicated to COVID-19-related guidance for construction employers and workers, including actions to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus.