By Conn Maciel Carey’s COVID-19 Task Force
Many of you are likely knee-deep in ensuring that your facilities are in compliance with the various components of OSHA’s new Emergency Temporary Standard, with the July 6th compliance deadline upon us. Our CMC COVID-19 Taskforce has reviewed all 1,000+ pages of OSHA’s ETS and supporting documentation and has as good an understanding of what is required as one can have – although OSHA has left some big question marks and caused a fair amount of head scratching in some areas. To help you understand precisely what is required of your covered facilities, and to assist with compliance implementation, we have prepared summaries of the major requirements of the ETS. Look for our summaries here each day over the next week. The devil is in the details, however, so please reach out if you would like a more nuanced understanding of how the standard applies to your particular facility and what steps you need to take to ensure you are in compliance – and avoid an enforcement action under OSHA’s COVID-19 National Emphasis Program.
Here is a summary of the ETS requirements for reporting:
For fatalities, covered employers must report all work-related COVID-19 fatalities within 8 hours of learning of the reportable fatality. Unlike the requirement to report work-related fatalities under the existing injury and illness reporting standard (29 C.F.R. Section 1904.39), the reporting obligation is not limited to fatalities that occur within 30 days of exposure.
This means if these two factors are present, the case is reportable:
- The employee died from a confirmed case of COVID-19; and
- The cause of death was a work-related exposure to COVID-19.
For hospitalizations, covered employers must report all work-related COVID-19 in-patient hospitalization within 24 hours of learning of the reportable in-patient hospitalization. Similar to fatalities, OSHA did not include in the COVID-19 reporting standard the temporal boundary included in the existing Section 1904.39 reporting standard. Continue reading