OSHA Requires Businesses to Record Adverse COVID-19 Reactions if Requiring Vaccines to Work - P.O.W. Report

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

OSHA Requires Businesses to Record Adverse COVID-19 Reactions if Requiring Vaccines to Work


National Law Review:

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has answered a question that has been troubling employers since the pace of vaccinations started to accelerate: when must an employer record an adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine on its OSHA 300 Logs? In a new series of answers to its COVID-19 frequently asked questions (FAQs) issued on April 20, 2021, OSHA states that the answer turns on whether the vaccine is required or recommended by the employer. The new guidance makes clear that while adverse reactions to required and recommended vaccinations may be recordable, “OSHA is exercising its enforcement discretion to only require the recording of adverse effects to required vaccines at this time.” As always, the devil is somewhat in the details.

OSHA’s new guidance begins by pointing out that an adverse reaction to a vaccine may be recordable if it is “work-related,” a “new case” (as opposed to a condition resulting from a previous work-related illness), and one of the recording criteria—such as days away from work—is met. OSHA then addresses when a vaccine is “work-related” as follows: 

If I require my employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of their employment, are adverse reactions to the vaccine recordable? 

If you require your employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment (i.e., for work-related reasons), then any adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is work-related. The adverse reaction is recordable if it is a new case under 29 CFR 1904.6 and meets one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7.

To read more visit OSHA

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