Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) adopted two revised policies for enforcing its requirements.
The first revised policy calls for an increase of in-person inspections at many workplaces now that more states are starting to reopen and personal protective equipment (PPE) is more widely available.
The organization says staff will continue to prioritize COVID-19 inspections and will use all enforcement tools as OSHA has historically done.
OSHA is also revising its previous enforcement policy for recording cases of coronavirus. Currently, coronavirus is a recordable illness and employers are responsible to record cases if it falls under certain criteria.
Under the new policy, OSHA will enforce the recordkeeping requirements of 29 CFR 1904 for employee coronavirus illnesses for all employers. But because the disease is so easily spread it is difficult to determine if the employee was exposed at work or off the clock.
If an employer does record a coronavirus illness it doesn’t mean that employer violated any OSHA standard and following existing guidelines, employers with 10 or fewer employees have no recording obligations—they need only report work-related coronavirus illnesses that result in a fatality or an employee’s in-patient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye.