The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released guidance to help employers prepare their workplaces for an outbreak of COVID-19 earlier this week — along with a reminder that any incidents of employees contracting the novel coronavirus at work are recordable illnesses, subject to the same rules and failure-to-record fines as other workplace injuries and illnesses.
If a worker contracts this virus while engaged in employment, it is a recordable claim. The employer must comply with OSHA’s reporting requirements.
While OSHA specifically exempts employers from recording incidents of employees contracting common colds and the flu in the workplace, COVID-19 is not exempt, the agency noted on a newly added website providing recommendations for preventing occupational exposure to the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Additionally, while not a standard or regulation, OSHA also outlines safety standards that employers whose workers are at high risk of contracting the virus should implement to remain in compliance with the general duty clause. The report also advises businesses to develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, implement basic infection prevention measures, and develop policies for the identification and isolation of ill individuals.
If you have additional questions or need assistance on the topics presented in this article, please contact a member of your Seubert Service Team.
Please be advised that this article is an educational and informational resource only. The views and statements are not to be construed as legal advice. Information was sourced the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and Business Insurance.
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