(LifeSiteNews) — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has suddenly backpedaled its policy that employers could potentially be held liable for employees’ adverse reactions to coronavirus vaccines, should they attempt to require workers to receive such injections.
The original policy put employers on notice that should they attempt to require employees to receive experimental coronavirus vaccines, any resulting adverse reaction could be considered “work-related” for which the employer may be held liable.
OSHA released this guidance only on April 20 with its reversal coming just in the last several days.
OSHA’s previous “Frequently Asked Questions” section about the coronavirus included a question about whether an employer that mandates employees receive a coronavirus vaccine is required to record any adverse events as a result of these injections. Such recording requirements of serious work-related injuries and illness may not only leave an employer vulnerable to worker’s compensation claims but such incidents could also impact the employer’s safety record.
The question and answer read in full:
If I require my employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of their employment, are adverse reactions to the vaccine recordable?
If you require your employees to be vaccinated as a condition of employment (i.e., for work-related reasons), then any adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine is work-related. The adverse reaction is recordable if it is a new case under 29 CFR 1904.6 and meets one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7.
Following pushback from some trade associations, who had pledged to leverage the intervention of members of the U.S. Congress, OSHA changed its policy stating they would not enforce these recording requirements for at least for another year.
The new question and answer read in full:
Are adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine recordable on the OSHA recordkeeping log?
DOL and OSHA, as well as other federal agencies, are working diligently to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations. OSHA does not wish to have any appearance of discouraging workers from receiving COVID-19 vaccination, and also does not wish to disincentivize employers’ vaccination efforts. As a result, OSHA will not enforce 29 CFR 1904’s recording requirements to require any employers to record worker side effects from COVID-19 vaccination through May 2022. We will reevaluate the agency’s position at that time to determine the best course of action moving forward.
When the original policy was announced, Brian Turmail, AGC vice president of public affairs, commented, “It’s almost like they haven’t talked to the rest of the Biden administration about the goal of getting as many people vaccinated as possible.” Read Full Article >