The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued new guidance on reporting fatalities in regards to COVID-19. As with any reportable injury, hospitalization, or death, there are certain time frames that must be observed in order to avoid fines from OSHA.
Employers have eight hours to report to OSHA an employee fatality if the fatality occurs within 30 days of the work place incident. In this case, the incident would be exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. An employer has eight hours to report to OSHA once learning an employee has died from work-related, confirmed case of COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic until October 1, proposed penalties for coronavirus violations have topped over $900,000. Many of these violations are citations for lack of reporting or inefficient recording.
If you are in the unfortunate position of needing to report an employee fatality, follow these steps as outlined by OSHA:
You may report a fatality or in-patient hospitalization using any one of the following:
- Call the nearest OSHA office;
- Call the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742); or
- By electronic submission, report online.
Be prepared to supply: Business name; name(s) of employee(s) affected; location and time of the incident; brief description of the incident; and contact person and phone number so that OSHA may follow-up with you (unless you wish to make the report anonymously).
MVP Law will continue to monitor and update our website as more information becomes available regarding OSHA and the coronavirus pandemic. If you have questions about OSHA reporting, please contact Greg Goheen.
Disclaimer and warning: This information was published by McAnany, Van Cleave & Phillips, P.A., and is to be used only for general informational purposes and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. This is not inclusive of all exceptions and requirements which may apply to any individual claim. It is imperative to promptly obtain legal advice to determine the rights, obligations and options of a specific situation.