The demand for COVID-19 shots has stopped in the United States, which has led some employers to implement mandates to have their staff fully vaccinated.
However, experts warn that during such mandates, injuries or illnesses reported by employees of the vaccine could lead to workers' compensation claims and recordable incidents in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration logs.
After first giving the decision to employees and offering them an incentive, the Houston Methodist hospital system recently said it would require the 26,000 employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or subject to suspension and / or dismissal. The Medical University of South Carolina conducted a similar mandate.
"I have spoken to countless hospital managers across the country who plan to mandate COVID-1
Many employers had been wary of forcing vaccinations, given the potential for side effects and the fact that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccines only in emergencies.
Other countries also implement vaccination mandates for healthcare professionals. On April 1, Italy approved an emergency decree requiring all healthcare professionals to be vaccinated against coronavirus. Those who refused had the opportunity to be transferred to tasks that are not exposed to patients or interrupted without pay for up to a year, according to the British Medical Journal.
“In order to be able to optimize patient safety, we must have higher vaccination. prices over MUSC Health, says a spokeswoman for the hospital in an email. “A large number of patients do not come to care facilities due to lower vaccination levels of care members. … After much deliberation, MUSC Health has decided to make it an expectation that all healthcare team members will be vaccinated against COVID-19. "
Third-party administrator CorVel Corp., which includes a number of hospital and medical systems among its clients, has seen more move to a mandatory policy after fewer employees than expected chose to be vaccinated," said Michele Tucker, Sacramento, California-based vice president of business. on CorVel.
CorVel has seen some vaccine-related workers compensate in the past month as a result of the mandates, but they are "very small, not expensive and not significant," Tucker said. “If there is a significant reaction, it is probably work-related. It really is no worse than a COVID statement at this point.
Along with the potential for workers' compensation claims, employers switching to compulsory vaccinations must be aware that reactions requiring medical treatment or a day off may be recordable. on their OSHA logs, said Brent Clark, partner in the Chicago office for Seyfarth Shaw LLP.
"If I am to take the step of prescribing the vaccine, I will have the reasonably foreseeable consequences that individuals may suffer or may be due to that vaccination, he said." This is a kind of new application of long-standing OSHA principles. "
Serious vaccine-related injuries or illnesses should be recorded in OSHA logs," Clark said, "and vaccine reactions that prevent a worker from performing his or her normal work activities must also be recorded.
" The inability to do all your routine work activities … would result in a limited working day, "he said." It goes in the log … if it is causally related to the vaccine. "
More insurance and work compensation news about the coronavirus crisis here .