OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements for COVID-19 in the Workplace

Reflective of everything else during the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements have been shifting as the national crisis evolves. The US Department of Labor has issued scores of updates and press releases since the onset of the pandemic.

As a direct result, it is difficult for small to mid-sized business owners to keep up with the rapid changes. Given the challenges presented by OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements, it makes sense for companies to make a smart choice. A small to mid-sized business can protect themselves from potential penalties by working with an Employer of Record (EOR) like Strategic Contracting Services (SCS).

OSHA Recordkeeping and the Department of Labor

As the pandemic shifts from initial quarantines to the reopening of many businesses, the Department of Labor increases the requirements of business owners. The increased requirements have led to numerous penalties. According to the Department of Labor , “Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Oct. 15, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited 112 establishments for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $1,603,544.”

Overall, the proposed penalties average out to about $15,000 per company. In a difficult time when businesses are already threatened due to the pandemic, such a fine could potentially sink many small to mid-sized companies.

Workplace Exposures and OSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting

Under Safety and Health Topics on the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements are laid out for business owners. However, although it appears straightforward, the actual work required is complex and easy for anyone lacking OSHA experience to fumble. To help business owners, SCS will quote the basic outline of these requirements in full:

Recording  workplace exposures to COVID-19:

OSHA recordkeeping requirements mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log (29 CFR Part 1904).

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are true:

  • The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19);
  • The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7 (e.g., medical treatment beyond first aid, days away from work).
  • Employers should also consult OSHA’s enforcement memos for recording cases of COVID-19, effective through May 25, 2020 and beginning on May 26, 2020.

The Real Need for Professional Help with OSHA Reporting Requirements

At first, four reporting requirements do not seem to be so much to handle. However, once you hit the links and get into the details of the reporting requirements, it becomes more complicated and harder to decipher. Given the high number of companies that have received penalties for failing to meet OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements, are you willing to take that risk?

If you have questions about how OSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements could affect your company or want to know more about working with an Employer of Record, please be proactive today. Given the increase in OSHA enforcement activities, no small to mid-sized businesses should be taking any undue risks. By contacting Strategic Contracting Services, you are taking a smart step towards safeguarding your company during the most challenging business period in recent history.