The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its guidance on whether employees are required to record cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their Form 300 Logs for reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. OSHA said that under its recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if the case is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness, is work-related, and involves one or more of the general recording criteria, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.

The OSHA update comes after the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC) raised concerns to the administration. In a letter sent to OSHA, the CISC said “treating confirmed cases of COVID-19 as typical ‘illnesses’ under [the recordkeeping rule] has the potential to skew the national statistics on injuries and illnesses and put construction employers in an almost impossible position of determining work-relatedness for a virus that spreads easily and is becoming widespread in communities across the country.”

OSHA said in areas where there is ongoing community transmission, it is difficult for employers to determine whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. As such, OSHA is not enforcing its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where there is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related and the evidence is reasonably available to the employer. OSHA said its new enforcement policy will “provide certainty to the regulated community and help employers focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces.”

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), a member of the CISC, said the update from OSHA provides greater certainty for its member contractors.

“The updated OSHA guidance will continue to let contractors focus on the taking the necessary steps to ensure compliance with health recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and overall jobsite safety,” ABC vice president of health and safety, environment and workforce development Greg Sizemore said.