Updates in the Law
On Wednesday, OSHA issued an update to its guidance dealing with reporting hospitalizations and fatalities that were caused by workplace exposure to Covid-19.
First, as to deaths, if an employer learns that an employee died within 30 days of a work-related incident, and determines afterward that the cause of the death was a work-related case of COVID-19, the case must be reported within eight hours of that determination.
Second, as to hospitalizations, if an employer learns that an employee was in-patient hospitalized within 24 hours of a work-related incident, and determines afterward that the cause of the in-patient hospitalization was a work-related case of COVID-19, the case must be reported within 24 hours of that determination.
While the timelines mirror OSHA’s standing reporting regulations on workplace illnesses and injuries, the mandate that COVID-19 hospitalizations must occur with a day of workplace exposure to be reportable conflicts with what the CDC has said about the amount of time it takes for symptoms of the infection to appear. A person likely won’t show symptoms within a day of contracting the disease, as the CDC says that symptoms usually appear between two days and two weeks after someone is exposed. OSHA did not immediately comment on the discrepancy.
If you have any questions, please contact Bob Lepp at firstname.lastname@example.org or another member of our Employment Law group.