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Tracking Employee Infections Using OSHA as a Guide

By Net Assets posted 06-08-2020 03:15 PM


(from Society for Human Resources Management) Schools are considered to be a low-risk industry and, as such, are exempt from the OSHA 300 form requirement, which requires employers to report details about COVID-19 infections among employees. However, new policy from OSHA may help independent schools understand how they can best track and trace COVID-19 infections in relation to workplace duties. When an employee gets infected, employers will have to dig for information about the cause of the infection while respecting the worker's privacy. Some strategies to gather useful information include:

  • Asking the employee limited questions about how he or she believes COVID-19 was contracted.
  • Making inquiries about the employee's work and nonwork activities, and possible exposure, leading up to the diagnosis.
  • Investigating the employee's work environment to determine whether COVID-19 exposure was possible. This might include considering whether other employees in the work area have tested positive, the employee's job duties and exposure to the public, and whether the work areas are crowded and do not facilitate social distancing.

Employers don't need to conduct extensive investigations into nonwork activities, other than asking these questions and considering readily available evidence, according to experts.

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