OSHA COVID-19 ETS Recordkeeping Requirements

On Nov. 4, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) to address the grave danger of COVID-19 infection in the workplace. Affected employers will be required to comply with most provisions of the ETS by Dec. 6, 2021, and with its testing requirements by Jan. 4, 2022. Affected employers include private employers with 100 or more employees (firmwide or companywide count). The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires employers to maintain accurate records of employee exposures to potentially toxic materials or harmful physical agents that are required to be monitored or measured. The requirements under the ETS for recordkeeping were developed in accordance with the OSH Act. This compliance bulletin covers recordkeeping requirements imposed by the ETS.

Action Steps

Employers should review, understand and implement these ETS recordkeeping requirements. Employers should also include these recordkeeping requirements in their written policies.

IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS

“Fully vaccinated” means:

  • A person’s status two weeks after completing primary vaccination with a COVID-19 vaccine with, if applicable, at least the minimum recommended interval between doses in accordance with the approval, authorization or listing; or
  • A person’s status two weeks after receiving the second dose of any combination of two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or listed as a two-dose series by the World Health Organization (WHO).

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Nov. 5, 2021 – ETS effective date.
  • Dec. 6, 2021 – Compliance date for most ETS provisions.
  • Jan. 4, 2022 – Compliance date for ETS testing requirements.

Access to Records, Privacy and Confidentiality

The ETS considers proof of vaccination, rosters and COVID-19 testing results as medical records and protects the privacy and confidentiality of this information. This is particularly important in circumstances where employers or employees choose to have the employee’s COVID-19 test results go directly to the employer. Prompt access to these records can also assist employees in making personal medical decisions and seeking care from a licensed healthcare provider if necessary. The ETS limits employee access to their own vaccination records or COVID-19 test results. Individuals may also access this information for another employee if they have that employee’s written permission.

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