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OSHA won't enforce ruling on counting vaccine reactions as 'recordable injuries'

OSHA won't enforce ruling on counting vaccine reactions as 'recordable injuries'

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Construction industry leaders worried field workers not getting vaccinated

"I am not getting it. I don't trust it," said construction worker Brian Brady, who fits forms for the new I-270 South exit ramp at Lindbergh Boulevard on Wednesday, May 19, 2021. All four the workers fitting forms said they had no desire to getting vaccinated for COVD-19. Thom Kuhn, CEO of Millstone Weber said less than 50% of his 150 workers plan to get vaccinated, according to an internal survey. Photos by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will not enforce its ruling on requiring companies who mandate COVID-19 vaccines to treat adverse reactions as “recordable injuries.”

OSHA said it reversed its ruling in order to avoid "the appearance of discouraging workers" from getting the vaccine as well as deterring companies’ vaccination efforts, according to the agency's website

The reversal could help the construction industry's push to vaccinate more of its workers, though many company leaders were opposed to mandates. 

Initially, OSHA said companies would have to treat adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine as “recordable injuries,” if they mandate the vaccine. Bob Clark, executive chairman of construction firm Clayco, said he worried that would harm a company’s safety record and cause higher workers’ compensation costs. Clayco was one of the leading companies to mandate the vaccine before OSHA's initial ruling.

Clark called the reversal "great news" and said he plans to reinstate his company's mandate, though he did not know when that would occur. 

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