OSHA overhauls guidance for reporting virus hospitalizations

Federal guidance on whether and when employers must notify OSHA of workers being hospitalized or dying because of Covid-19 infections has been revised yet again, according to Bloomberg Law.

OSHA has released the latest changes, in the form of three frequently asked questions, marking at least the second time it has adjusted reporting requirements for employers during the pandemic.

Generally, for any kind of on-the-job illness or injury that leads to hospitalization, OSHA requires employers to notify the agency within 24 hours of the hospital admission, if the admission was within 24 hours of the incident that led to the hospitalization.

The new guidance starts the 24-hour clock between the workplace incident and hospitalization when the worker has an on-the-job exposure to the virus.

Previous guidance started the clock when a worker was diagnosed as having the virus.

The new FAQs also change guidance for when a fatality must be reported. Now, OSHA says employers must contact the agency if a worker dies within 30 days of an on-the-job exposure to the virus. The old guidance said OSHA must be notified if the worker died within 30 days of being diagnosed with the virus.

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