OSHA Clarifies COVID-19 Reporting (Not Recording) Requirement


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued new FAQs regarding the reporting of work-related COVID-19 cases, providing much-needed clarification to employers.

Hospitalizations. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers must report (within 24 hours) hospitalizations that occur within 24 hours of a work-related incident. In the context of COVID-19, OSHA states that the work-related exposure to COVID is the triggering “incident” and thus is reportable if the hospitalization occurs within 24 hours of such exposure. The employer must report such hospitalization within 24 hours of knowing both that the employee has been hospitalized and that the reason for the hospitalization was a work-related case of COVID-19.

Fatalities. Employers must report any fatalities if they occur within 30 days of the work-related incident, meaning the work-related exposure to COVID-19.  The employer must report the fatality within eight hours of knowing both that the employee has died, and that the cause of death was a work-related case of COVID-19.

Reporting v. Recording. OSHA further clarifies that these limitations only apply to reporting; employers who are required to keep illness and injury records must still record any work-related hospitalizations or fatalities of COVID-19 that occur outside of the reporting period. OSHA has provided prior guidance on work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, which we discussed in our May 29 E-Update.