In an October 23rd news release, OSHA announced that since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic through October 15th, they have cited 112 establishments for violations related to Coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $1,603,544. Approximately half of these violations occurred in the month of October!
Coronavirus-related violations cited by OSHA have included failures to:
- Comply with the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard including not implementing a written program, and not providing medical evaluation, fit testing, and training
- Record injuries or illnesses on OSHA recordkeeping forms
- Report an injury, illness, or fatality
- Comply with the General Duty Clause which states that each employer shall furnish to each of his employees, employment, and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.
Of the 112 establishments with violations, five were located in Massachusetts. These included four nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities and one dental practice. Similar establishments have been targeted by OSHA in other states as have general healthcare facilities, hospitals, and meat packaging facilities.
In addition to Coronavirus-related inspections on the federal level, the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) has also begun reaching out to some companies to request copies of their Coronavirus Plans which are required under the Massachusetts Safety Standards for Workplaces for all businesses in Massachusetts.
The industries that are being targeted by the DLS appear to be broader in scope and have included, in at least one case, a biotechnology company.
For help ensuring that your organization is doing all it can do to comply with OSHA regulations related to Coronavirus, or for assistance with your company’s Coronavirus Plan, please visit our COVID resources page!
This blog was written by Beth Graham, our Associate Director of Quality, Research, and Training who has been with Safety Partners Inc. for the last 11 years.