OSHA’s approach to Covid illness in the workplace has …. evolved…. over time. As of now there are no hard rules set to address covid and covid like illness but over time, OSHA and some state’s workers comp (such as California) say that Covid can be a work related illness if a reasonable person can expect the exposure that caused the illness came from the work place.
Although no citations that we’re aware of at the moment have been issued, it seems logical that at some point osha will look at widespread outbreaks of Covid as something to investigate. The General Duty Clause is a catch-all piece of OSHA law that can be cited in the absence of other standards. If an outbreak happens, and a complaint occurs, it is possible for OSHA to look at whether or not an employer has done anything to help stop the virus.
To that end, we’re urging you to take a look at our HELPFUL Covid Links page. This is NOT a comprehensive list of resources… far from it. It is just a good starting place to start work on this issue. No one can prescribe the things each employer needs to do to address this but some attention needs to be made and remember… if it didn’t happen on paper, it didn’t happen. Develop a plan, write it down and follow it.