News & Information Blog

OSHA Criteria for Recordable COVID-19 Cases

By Susen Trail | 10/19/2020

When comparing the current state of COVID-19 between countries, saying this one is worse than that one, is only possible when you normalize the data with a common denominator or by using a percent.  For example, location X has 1,000 cases of COVID-19, is it worse than location Y with 100 cases of COVID-19?  Most would say yes. 

However, if you provide the appropriate context, such as cases per total population, you get a more accurate picture of severity.  Would you say 1,000 cases/1,000,000 people are worse than 100 cases/1,000 people?  That is 0.1% vs 10%, respectively.  With a common parameter, population, as the denominator you can compare the data between two countries.

We hear a lot of data about COVID-19 but what we usually get is the raw data.  Without context we cannot evaluate what the data means.  There are 1,000 cases of COVID-19 but out of how many total tests?  Again, is it 0.1% or 10% of the tests that are coming back positive?  The World Health Organization says that, once the testing gets below 5% positive results, we can stop social distancing. 

That’s easy, lets find the least likely to test positive population but, that is not what we are doing.  We are testing people who have been exposed, people who have been referred for testing by a physician, and people who are showing symptoms.  This artificially elevates the results and makes the pandemic seem more prevalent than it really is.

The USA has performed 107,536, 225 COVID-19 tests. Second only to China with 160,000,000 and followed by India with 75,619,781 total tests.  The population of the US in 2020 is approximately 331,000,000 people.  Clearly this number is not representative of the number of people tested because some people are tested multiple times.  Again, context is required for comparison.

Tests Per Total Population



Total Tests

Total Population

% Population Tested

Positive Tests/%

Confirmed Cases/Avg Sensitivity of Tests

United States





9,063,873/ 8%

7,396,730/ 82%

United States
















75,619, 781






Of those tests how many were positive for COVID-19?  It turns out that you can spend hours searching on the internet without getting a % positive for China or India.  Something to keep in mind is that as long as we only test people who have been exposed or who are currently experiencing symptoms the statistics for COVID-19 will be artificially high.

I started this blog with a specific question: How does America compare to other countries regarding incidence of COVID-19 cases?  To get that information I needed specific metrics, tests/population, positive tests/total tests, Sensitivity of tests (positive result when the person had COVID-19), and so on. 

However, when you can’t find the data you can only give a one sided or a very limited report.  Identifying, documenting, and crunching the numbers that represent how your Safety Culture is doing can take a lot of time.  It also requires a certain amount of experience as a Safety Manager to do the job correctly.

Simple Safety Coach is designed for those new to their Safety role as much as it is to increase the efficiency of the experienced Safety Professional.  Therefore, we designed in the automatic processing of key metrics, such as how many forms for audits, inspections, etc. have been filled out as well as the number that passed and the number that failed.

Contact us today to schedule a Zoom, or other social distancing medium, demo conference.  We also offer free trials with full support to see for yourself how fast it is to onboard Simple Safety Coach and escape the paperwork sinkhole of time.

Looking to see if Simple Safety Coach is right for you?