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New Q & A addresses reporting and recording requirements.

The revised guidance represents a significant change and is more in keeping with the existing reporting and recording requirements for hospitalizations and deaths and a pullback from the broad interpretation issued in July. To be reportable, a hospitalization (in-patient admission, not a visit to the ER or outpatient treatment) due to COVID-19 must occur within 24-hours of exposure to the virus at work. The employer must report the hospitalization within 24-hours of knowing the employee has been hospitalized with a work-related case of COVID-19.

The reporting requirement for deaths from a work-related COVID-19 infection is triggered when an employee dies within 30 days of being exposed to COVID-19 at work. From the time it learns of the death and knows that the cause of death was a work-related case of COVID-19, the employer will have eight-hours to report it.

It also cleared up confusion about the timing of a COVID-19-related 'work-related incident' that triggers reporting requirements. The new Q & A's make it clear that the reporting time frames are triggered by an exposure to COVID-19 at work, rather than a diagnosis. It defines a "work-related incident" as "an exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace."

The time limits on reporting hospitalizations and fatalities don't apply to recording. Employers are still expected to record all work-related confirmed cases of COVID-19. While the definition of a 'work-related incident' as "an exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in the workplace" is helpful and more reasonable than earlier approaches, making the work-related determination remains a struggle for employers.

State requirements can differ and often are more restrictive. In California, a COVID-19 case does not have to be confirmed through testing to be deemed recordable. A case must be recorded if it meets the definition of a "serious injury or illness," irrespective of when a potential exposure may have occurred. The case may also need to be recorded even if the work-relatedness determination is uncertain. Also, employers must report any serious injury/illness or fatality as soon as practically possible but not longer than eight hours after the employer knows or with diligent inquiry would have known of the serious injury or illness. A serious illness includes, among other things, any illness occurring in a place of employment or in connection with any employment that requires inpatient hospitalization for other than medical observation or diagnostic testing.

In Virginia, similar to the federal requirements, cases need to be confirmed positive through testing and determined to be work-related to be recorded. There is also a requirement that provides that employers must report positive cases to VOSH (to the Virginia Dept. of Labor and Industries) within 24-hours of discovering that three (3) or more employees who, within a 14-day period, were present at the workplace and tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the same way they would report a work-related fatality or in-patient hospitalization. The rule does make a distinction between work-related cases and non-work-related cases, other than a requirement that the three employees who have tested positive had also been in the workplace within 14-days of each other.

New Q & A on respirators and particle size

Aiming to dispel "incorrect claims" about the efficacy of N95 respirators to protect wearers against COVID-19 infection, a section on respirators and particle size has been added to the FAQs on protecting workers from exposure to the coronavirus.

New resources on recommended practices

For more COVID-19 information

Cal OSHA updates guidance for several industries and return to work

Cal/OSHA updated five of its industry-specific coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection protection guidelines for agriculture, child care, construction, grocery stores and logistics.

The agency revised its guidelines to update criteria for returning to work after a COVID-19 diagnosis and add a reference to the California Department of Public Health's (CDPH) Guidance on Returning to Work or School Following COVID-19 Diagnosis. Individuals who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and who have had symptoms may return to work or school when:

Michigan becomes second state to adopt COVID-19 standard, Oregon to soon follow

When the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the Governor's emergency order MIOSHA quickly responded with a series of COVID-19 Emergency Regulations. The rules, which mostly mirror the previous emergency order, require all employers to conduct COVID-19 hazard assessments, to have a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, adopt workplace controls and safe work practices, conduct daily entry screenings for all employees or contractors entering the workplace, and designate one or more COVID-19 safety coordinators, and that such coordinator(s) must remain on-site at all times when employees are present on site. Employers must also provide "thorough training to their employees that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of personal protection equipment, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions."

If there is a known COVID-19 case of an employee, visitor, or customer, the employer must immediately notify the local public health department and notify, within 24-hours, coworkers, contractors, or suppliers who may have come into contact with the known case. Employers must also maintain records of training, screenings, and required notifications. The records must be kept for one year from the time of generation.

The rules also include 11 industry-specific requirements: construction, manufacturing, retail, libraries and museums, restaurants and bars, health care, in-home services, personal care services, public accommodations, sports and exercise facilities, meat and poultry processing, and casinos. Signed Oct. 14 and effective immediately, the regulations will remain in effect for six months.

On October 23, 2020, Oregon OSHA released the latest version of its proposed COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (the "OR ETS"). It is anticipated that this will go into effect in early November. It includes one set of mandates for all workplaces and another set for what it defines as "workplaces of exceptional risk," including direct patient care, aerosol-generating or post-mortem procedures, in-home care and/or direct client service in residential care, or assisted living facilities.

DOL guidance memo directs agencies to stop publishing news releases about fines and penalties

The New York Times obtained a Department of Labor (DOL) guidance memo that advises enforcement agencies not to publish press releases, "absent extraordinary circumstances," about fines and penalties levied against employers for worker safety and health violations "before achieving a successful outcome." Employers have often complained that OSHA issues a release before companies have an opportunity to respond to the citations.

Recent fines and awards

COVID-19-related citations


Given the rapidly escalating volume of COVID-19-related citations, weekly news releases are now being posted on the website. As of Oct. 22, 144 establishments employing more than 650,000 workers were cited for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $2,025,431. 82 citations were issued in the first 22 days of October and included failure to implement a written respiratory protection program, provide a medical evaluation, respirator fit test, training on the proper use of a respirator and personal protective equipment, report an injury, illness, or fatality, record an injury or illness on OSHA recordkeeping forms; and comply with the General Duty Clause.

A list of all coronavirus-related issued citations can be found here.



Nevada OSHA

Non-COVID-19 related citations






For additional information.