The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published two additional answers to its list of COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQs). The new answers clarify when employers must report COVID-19 in-patient hospitalizations and fatalities.
OSHA requires employers to report in-patient hospitalizations only if the hospitalization occurs within 24 hours of an exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. As a result, employers must report COVID-19 hospitalizations only if the hospitalizations are:
- For in-patient treatment; and
- The result of a work-related case of COVID-19.
The report must be submitted within 24 hours of the time the employer determines there was an in-patient hospitalization caused by a COVID-19 case. Hospitalization for diagnostic testing or observation only is not “in-patient” hospitalization.
OSHA requires employers to report fatalities that occur within 30 days of an exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
Fatality reports must be submitted within eight hours of the time the employer learns that the fatality took place and that it was due to a work-related exposure.
Next Steps for Employers
Employers should review and update their procedures to comply with the reporting requirement. Employers should also note that these FAQs only address reporting requirements for COVID-19, but there may also be recording requirements. Employers can review COVID-19 recording requirements on OSHA’s website.