August 23, 2021

OSHA Releases Guidance for Employers Considering Vaccine Requirements

With today's FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, employers should be aware of the (current) OSHA reporting requirements if such vaccines are mandated by employers and negative reactions occur to the vaccine:

"If an employer requires its employees to be vaccinated, adverse reactions to the vaccines are considered “work-related” by OSHA. Employers who require COVID-19 vaccines must notify OSHA within 24 hours of an employee’s inpatient hospitalization (or within eight hours of an employee’s death) resulting from an adverse reaction.

For employers subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, if the adverse reaction meets other general recording criteria (e.g., days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, or medical treatment beyond first aid), the reaction must be recorded on the employer’s OSHA 300 log, even if it does not lead to hospitalization. For example, if an employee uses a sick day because of fever and chills following administration of the vaccine, the reaction must be recorded. On the other hand, if an employee merely requires over-the-counter medication to ease soreness at the injection site, the action need not be recorded.

Employers who merely recommend vaccination do not need to record adverse reactions or report hospitalizations due to those adverse reactions, even if the employer facilitates employees’ access to the vaccine."

Learn more at The National Law Review

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