OSHA Makes Key Change to COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting
OSHA is relaxing the record-keeping requirements around vaccination side effects. Here's how the rule change affects employers.
Last Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it will no longer require employers to record instances of COVID-19 vaccination side effects among their employees.
“OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts,” read the updated OSHA guidelines. “As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination through May 2022.”
Typically, employers are required to keep a record of all work-related cases of injury or illness in what is called an OSHA 300 Log. Workplace data that must be recorded in an OSHA 300 log include:
- A death;
- Days away from work;
- Restricted work or transfer to another job;
- Medical treatment beyond first aid;
- Loss of consciousness;
- A significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed health care professional.
Previous guidance from OSHA mandated that any employers who require their employees get vaccinated keep a record of any adverse reactions to the vaccine, just like they would any other illness. The announcement of the change drew praise from construction industry representatives.
“ABC is pleased with this policy change and believes it is a positive development,” said Greg Sizemore of Associated Builders and Contractors.
Chris Cain, director of safety and health for the North American Building Trades Unit, voiced his organization’s support for the change and highlighted the benefits of the decision.
“We strongly support construction workers getting vaccinated and understand the concerns raised by employers,” he said. “Recording workers who have adverse reactions as being made ill by their jobs would erroneously flag such employers as having high injury and illness rates.”