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On March 24, ABC, as a member of the Construction Industry Safety Coalition Steering Committee, wrote to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding recordkeeping and respirator enforcement during the COVID-19 outbreak. CISC is comprised of a number of trade associations that represent every aspect of the construction industry.

ABC stated in the letter:

CISC is concerned with the position taken by the agency regarding the recordability of COVID-19 cases and respectfully requests that OSHA reconsider its position. Treating confirmed cases of COVID-19 as typical “illnesses” under the rule has the potential to skew the national statistics on injuries and illnesses and put construction employers in an almost impossible position of determining work-relatedness for a virus that is spread easily—like the common cold and flu—and is becoming widespread in all communities across the country.

In addition, given the current shortage of N95 respirators and the request from Vice President Pence and other elected officials that construction employers donate N95 respirators to the public health community, the construction industry requests that OSHA consider adopting a flexible enforcement policy that allows greater use of administrative controls—including job rotation—to minimize workplace exposures to hazardous chemicals and maintain compliance with OSHA permissible exposure limits (“PELs”). Doing so would reduce the need for construction employers to use respiratory protection on their jobsites, freeing up this equipment to be donated to healthcare facilities.

Read the full letter here.

ABC general counsel Littler Mendelson P.C. has written an article on OSHA Recording and Reporting of Cases of COVID-19, which covers the following questions:

  • Is COVID-19 Considered an “Illness” Under OSHA’s Recordkeeping Rules?
  • When Is a COVID-19 Case Considered Recordable?
  • When Is a COVID-19 Case Reportable?

Read the Littler analysis here.

 Additional information can be found on the OSHA webpage. You may also view additional coronavirus resources on the ABC COVID-19 Update Webpage.