OSHA’s Interpretation of Recording Adverse Reactions to COVID-19 Vaccines Causes Concern Among Contractors

May 20, 2021

In late April, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued updated COVID-19 FAQs related to contractor vaccine policies. Consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) messaging, contractors have been recommending—and in some instances mandating—employees receive the vaccine. OSHA’s new interpretation of recordability stemming from adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine when contractors mandate employees take the vaccine, or simply recommend it, has the potential to deter vaccination efforts. AGC is not opposing the requirement for contractors that—at their own discretion—mandate employee vaccination to record adverse reactions on their OSHA 300 Log. However, AGC is concerned when construction owners or clients pass the mandate down to contractors to vaccinate their employees.

AGC has proposed that any adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine as a result of these owner or client policies should not be recorded on the contractor’s OSHA 300 Log. The potential recordability when contractors simply recommend employees to receive the vaccine, and not mandate it is also of concern. In their FAQs, OSHA states that adverse reactions to recommended COVID-19 vaccines may be recordable; however, this is counter to their existing recordkeeping regulations which state that injuries or illnesses resulting solely from voluntary participation in a wellness program or a medical activity such as a flu shot is not a recordable incident.  

For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at (703)837-5410 or or Nazia Shah at (703)837-5409 or

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