Recent OSHA COVID-19 Citations
In late April, OSHA began inspecting companies throughout the US for violations of COVID-19 regulations.
The agency published a COVID-19 Response Summary, most recently updated through Sept. 24. The summary compiles data for complaints, referrals, and inspections by selected industries and regions.
The selected industries include healthcare, retail trade, grocery stores, construction, general warehousing and storage, restaurants and other eating places, and automotive repair.
The total number of inspections conducted from April 20 through Sept. 24 by region are as follows:
|Region Number||Number of Inspections Per Region||States & Territories Include|
|1||76||CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT|
|2||344||NJ, NY, PR, VI|
|3||43||DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV|
|4||133||AL, FL, GA, KY, MS. NC. SC, TN|
|5||265||IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI|
|6||98||AR, LA, NM. OK, TX|
|7||50||IA, KS, MO, NE|
|8||15||CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY|
|9||26||AS, AZ CA, GU, HI, MP, NV|
|10||15||AK, ID, OR, WA|
Most of the state OSHA agencies conducting the inspections are not issuing penalties in huge dollar amounts. In Michigan for example, nineteen businesses were recently fined a total of $50,000 with individual fines ranging from $400 to $7,000 per business.
Sean Egan, Michigan’s director of COVID-19 workplace safety has said their goal is to educate before they regulate.
“The most important thing about these citations is not the dollar amount penalty,” Egan said. “It’s that in order for the case to be closed, the employer has to abate those hazards.”
Earlier this month, two medical care facilities in New Jersey — a hospital and a skilled nursing facility — received proposed penalties totaling almost $37,000 from OSHA, primarily for failing to implement proper and effective respiratory protection measures.
Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, a large number of OSHA investigations and fines came about as a result of employee complaints. That trend has continued throughout the pandemic.
Per the COVID-19 Response Summary in late April, there were 2,342 federal and 4,466 state complaints. By Sept. 24, the total complaints had risen to 9,051 and 27,684, respectively.
What Can You Do To Avoid Employee Complaints, Investigations and Fine?
Remember, as an employer, it is your responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace for your employees.
OSHA and other agencies, such as the CDC and FDA, have issued guidance and other resources to help employers protect their workers from COVID-19.
So far, guidance has been issued for the following industries:
If specific guidance has been issued for your industry, be sure to implement it within your facility. If your industry does not have specific guidance, you can best protect your workers by following general CDC guidance on social distancing, using physical barriers, face shields, face coverings, hand washing and sanitizing, and more.
You can demonstrate your commitment to keeping your employees safe by providing COVID-19 training, by placing signs in your workplace(s) on the walls, distance markers on floors, and by modeling and enforcing the safety measures you have implemented. Your employees will thank you for caring about their health and the health of their co-workers. And, you’ll be proactive in complying with OSHA’s general duty clause, which requires that employees provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that can cause death or serious harm.
You can find additional resources and learn more about OSHA’s response to the coronavirus at https://www.worksitemed.com/coronavirus-resources/ and www.osha.gov/coronavirus.
About Worksite Medical
In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.
Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.
We conduct on-site respirator fit tests (including N95 masks), as well as pulmonary function tests and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.
With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.
Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.
Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote!