Effective May 26, 2020, OSHA has revised recordkeeping guidance for COVID-19, requiring employers to record COVID-19 cases that are work-related. In order to determine if a case is work-related, OSHA enforcement expects employers to document their determinations for all COVID-19 cases in the workplace.
When determining whether the employer made a reasonable work-relatedness conclusion, OSHA will consider if the employer investigated each case adequately. Suggested information that an employer should obtain, and document, are:
- How the employee believes the illness was contracted;
- Discussion regarding the employee's work and out-of-work activities that may have led to the illness while respecting their privacy;
- Review of the employee's work environment for potential COVID-19 exposure; and
- If the employer learns of additional information later, that information should be taken into account as well.
In order to assist employers in documenting work-related determinations as required by OSHA, Synergy has created a
COVID-19 Investigation Form
to download the form.
After completing a reasonable and good faith inquiry as described above, if the employer cannot determine whether it is more likely than not that workplace exposure played a causal role to COVID-19 illness contraction, the employer does not need to record the illness for OSHA. The investigation documentation should be maintained to demonstrate compliance with OSHA's recordkeeping guidance.
It is important to note that a reportable OSHA illness does not necessarily correspond to a compensable workers' compensation claim. Therefore, unless your investigation shows the infection clearly occurred outside of the workplace, submit a workers' compensation claim to Synergy for a full compensability investigation. Stay tuned for an interview with Jill Bowyer, Chief Operating Officer of Synergy, regarding the importance of a compensability investigation for COVID-19 claims.
to view the OSHA memo for a complete explanation.
The information shared in this email is current as of the date sent. Guidance continues to change and the above information may become outdated. Therefore, you may receive additional communication from Synergy regarding an update on this topic.