OSHA Releases Updated FAQ to Address Vaccines in the Workplace
OSHA has updated its FAQ to answer questions regarding recording of employee incidents related to COVID-19 vaccine reactions during work time. OSHA addresses three issues specifically:
Adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine are recordable under OSHA law if:
- It is work-related;
- It is a new case; and
- It otherwise is reportable under OSHA law
A vaccine reaction will be considered “work-related” if it is a condition of employment (required for new or current employees).
If the vaccine is a recommendation (but not a condition of employment), then the employer must make the determination if it is recordable by following the guidelines in Issue 1 above. However, OSHA states in its guidance that it will not enforce these requirements on employers whose vaccine requirements are truly voluntary. To be truly voluntary, the recommendation must be unaccompanied by any incentives for compliance or penalties for noncompliance (such as getting a bonus for vaccination or denial of promotion for no vaccination).
These regulations apply regardless of how the vaccine is administered to the employee or how much the employer is involved in the vaccination process. As potential side effects from vaccinations become more prevalent, OSHA may alter this guidance to reflect these future developments. FNA will follow OSHA decision making and update this article if any significant changes to the guidance occur.