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OSHA Revises Guidance For Recording Work-Related COVID-19 Cases

Under new OSHA guidance that goes into effect on May 26, 2020, employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements must determine if an employee who contracts COVID-19 was infected while at work. According to the new guidance, a COVID-19 case is a recordable illness if these criteria are met:

OSHA Issues Updated COVID-19 Interim Enforcement Response Plan

On May 19, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (the Updated Plan), providing new guidance to all OSHA Regional Administrators and State Plan Designees on how to investigate COVID-19-related hazards as the transmission of COVID-19 slows and workplaces continue to reopen. The new guidance takes effect Tuesday, May 26, 2020, and will supersede OSHA’s prior Interim Enforcement Response Plan from April 13, 2020. Below are the critical takeaways.

OSHA Issues Guidance Clarifying Recording Obligations for COVID-19 Cases

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published new guidance requiring employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping standards to determine whether employees have contracted COVID-19 while at work.

OSHA Issues Revised Guidance for Recording COVID-19 Cases

On Tuesday, May 19, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued new enforcement guidance regarding an employer’s obligation to record cases of COVID-19 on the OSHA injury and illness logs. The new guidance takes effect Tuesday, May 26, 2020, and will supersede OSHA’s previous guidance that was issued on April 10, 2020.

COVID-19 Illnesses Now OSHA-Recordable Under Agency Shift

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued new guidance requiring all employers to evaluate confirmed cases of COVID-19 for work-relatedness and to record those cases that are determined to be work-related under OSHA recordkeeping requirements.

OSHA Releases New Guidance for Rideshare, Taxi, and Car Service Workers

On May 14, OSHA issued a short guidance document for the car and ride service industry to reduce risk of exposure to coronavirus for its workers. The guidance is issued to rideshare, taxi, and car service workers, although many such drivers are independent contractors and not covered under OSHA’s jurisdiction. Even for workers who are in an employment relationship, the guidance is not a binding regulation, although rideshare, car service, and taxi companies should still consider these suggestions as good practices. (Note that the CDC issued much more comprehensive guidance on April 17, 2020 available here, and many rideshare companies have also published COVID-19 pandemic response plans.)

OSHA Issues Alert for Retail Pharmacies with Suggestions to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace

On May 14, 2020, OSHA issued an “Industry-Specific Alert” for retail pharmacies that provides suggestions employers should implement to prevent the spread of COVID-19. OSHA’s Alerts do not have the force of formal regulations, so a failure to implement a specific suggestion cannot automatically serve as a basis for a citation.

The Next Normal: A Littler Interview with Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

On May 1, as part of Littler’s Virtual Executive Employer, attorney Alka Ramchandani-Raj was fortunate to interview Dr. John Howard, the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), to discuss NIOSH’s role in the response to COVID-19 and key safety and health issues facing employers as the economy reopens. We are publishing the interview as part of our “Next Normal” series.

OSHA Issues New COVID-19 Alert to Restaurants & Beverage Vendors

On May 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new safety alert for restaurant and food and beverage businesses operating during the pandemic. In the alert, OSHA suggests that restaurants providing curbside and takeout service should reserve parking spaces near the front door for pickup, avoid handing food off directly when possible, and allow workers to wear masks.

OSHA and the CDC Continue to Issue COVID-19-Related Guidance

A recent Washington Post headline read: “Thousands of OSHA complaints filed against companies for virus workplace safety concerns, records show.” The sub-headline stated: “Employees told regulators about failures to follow social distancing, lack of protective gear and other issues at scores of U.S. employers.”
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