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Do I need to report work-related COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths?

February 08, 2021

Do I need to report work-related COVID-19 hospitalizations or deaths?

On January 1, 2015, OSHA established the latest requirements for reporting work-related deaths and work-related hospitalizations. The COVID-19 pandemic has not changed any of those requirements. According to 29 CFR 1904.39, employers must report work-related fatalities and work-related hospitalizations under the following circumstances:

Type of Incidents Related to COVID-19 Reporting Requirement
Work-related fatality Report to OSHA within 8 hours (if the fatality occurs within 30 days of incident or last exposure)
Work-related in-patient hospitalization of one or more employees Report to OSHA within 24 hours (if the hospitalization occurs within 24 hours of incident or last exposure)
NOTE: There are other incident types unrelated to COVID-19 that require employers to notify OSHA of the incident. See 29 CFR 1904.39 for more information.

If an employee is hospitalized more than 24 hours past their last workplace exposure, the employer is not obligated to report the hospitalization to OSHA.  Likewise, if an employee’s death occurs more than 30 days after their last exposure, the employer is not obligated to report the death to OSHA.

Example 1 (Hospitalization):  An employee works their last shift of the week on Friday January 8, 2021.  On Sunday January 10, the employee begins to experience a dry cough and high fever.  The employee does not come to work on Monday January 11.  Later in the week the employee’s symptoms worsen and they require in-patient hospitalization on Thursday, January 14.  Since the hospitalization occurred more than 24 hours after the employee’s last workplace exposure, the hospitalization does not need to be reported to OSHA.

Example 2: (Fatality): An employee works their last shift of the week on Friday January 8, 2021.  On Sunday January 10, the employee begins to experience a dry cough and high fever and does not come to work for their next shift.  The employee’s symptoms worsen, and they require in-patient hospitalization on Thursday, January 14. The employee is discharged from the hospital two weeks later but has not fully recovered or returned to work. Weeks later, the employee’s condition worsens, and they must be re-admitted to the hospital.  Tragically, the employee dies on March 27 from pneumonia because of COVID-19.  Since the employee’s passing was more than 30 days after their last workplace exposure, the fatality does not need to be reported to OSHA.

Employers must record work-related cases of COVID-19 on the OSHA 300 log as they usually would for any other work-related illness.  See the Enforcement Guidance for more specific information on making work-relatedness decisions for COVID-19 infections.

Note:  As of February 8, 2021, we are aware of several states with more stringent reporting requirements than Federal OSHA.  Please refer to the following links for more information on the applicable State requirements:

California COVID-19 reporting requirements

Oregon OSHA reporting requirements

Kentucky OSHA reporting requirements

Utah OSHA reporting requirements

Kentucky COVID-19 reporting requirements

Virginia COVID-19 reporting requirements

New Mexico COVID-19 reporting requirements

Washington OSHA reporting requirements

 If you have questions, please contact Joseph Dorr at (267) 258-3752 or  jdorr@grahamco.com.

 

 

 

*The information and recommendations contained in this publication have been compiled from sources believed to be reliable and to represent the current opinion on the subject.  No warranty, guarantee or representation is made by Graham Company as to the correctness of sufficiency of any representation contained in this publication.  Graham Company assumes no responsibility for any such information, representation, or recommendations.

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