On November 20, OSHA issued a Compliance Directive (CPL-02-02-075) establishing enforcement policies and providing instructions to its compliance officers for inspections designed to minimize high occupational exposure risk to the virus identified as 2009 H1N1 influenza among workers in healthcare and laboratory settings. (See Directive at http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/Directive_pdf/CPL_02_02-075.pdf
.) Included in the Directive is OSHA’s official interpretation of how to address H1N1 cases for recordability purposes.
For purposes of OSHA injury and illness recordkeeping, illnesses due to the 2009 H1N1 influenza is not considered a common cold or seasonal flu. The work-relatedness exception for the common cold or flu at 29 CFR 1904.5(b)(2)(viii) does not apply to these cases. Employers are responsible for recording cases of 2009 H1N1 illness if all of the following requirements are met: (1) the case is a confirmed case of 2009 H1N1 illness as defined by CDC; (2) the case is work-related as defined by 1904.5; and (3) the case involves one or more of the recording criteria set forth in 1904.7 (e.g., medical treatment, days away from work).