Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Updated COVID-19 Illinois OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping for Local Governments

Recently, the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) published updated reporting requirements and recordkeeping guidance for Illinois state and local government employers regarding COVID-19 workplace exposures.

Reporting Requirements

In addition to the requirement for state and local government employers to report all work-related fatalities within eight (8) hours and all work-related hospital admissions, amputations, and losses of an eye within 24 hours to Illinois OSHA by calling (217) 782-7860, employers now must report a COVID-19-related fatality, if the fatality occurs within 30 days of exposure at work. Employers must also report any COVID-19-related hospital admission within 24 hours of exposure at work.

Upon a reported case of COVID-19, Illinois OSHA may investigate. If the investigation reveals or clearly identifies a work-related exposure, Illinois OSHA will review the circumstances of the exposure to determine if a violation of the Illinois Occupational Safety and Health Act occurred. If the investigation reveals or clearly identifies that the exposure occurred outside of the workplace, Illinois OSHA would close the investigation. 

Recordkeeping Guidance

COVID-19 is a recordable illness under Illinois law, which means employers must record cases if:

  1. the case is confirmed to be COVID-19;
  2. the case is work-related defined under 56 Ill. Adm. Code 350.270; and
  3. the case involves one or more of the general recording criteria established under 56 Ill. Adm. Code 350.290.

Employers should code documented cases of COVID-19 as respiratory on OSHA Form 300. Employees may voluntarily request to have their names excluded from the employer’s records—when this occurs, employers must comply.

Employers should note that maintaining records of documented employee COVID-19 cases does not necessarily mean the case was work-related or that the employer violated any Illinois OSHA standards. Instead, proper recordkeeping is a matter of public health to protect worker health and safety.