On October 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Oct. 22, 2020, they have cited 144 establishments for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $2,025,431.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, General Duty Clause (29 USC 654), each employer shall furnish to each of his employee’s employment and a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;
Upon further review we were able to determine that the violations filed fell under the following categories:
- Comply with the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
- Implement a written respiratory protection program;
- Provide a medical evaluation, respirator fit test, training on the proper use of a respirator and personal protective equipment;
- Report an injury, illness, or fatality; and
- Record an injury or illness on OSHA recordkeeping forms;
A sample list of the establishments fined by OSHA and their violations follows:
|Mission Care of Illinois LLC||Ambulance Services||Respiratory Protection.|
|Egg Harbor Care Center LLC||Nursing Care Facilities||Respiratory Protection.|
|Manorcare Health Services||Nursing Care Facilities||Respiratory Protection.|
|Silvercrest Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation||Nursing Care Facilities||Respiratory Protection.|
|Department of Veteran Affairs||General Medical and Surgical Hospitals||General requirements.|
|Georgetown Dental||Offices of Dentists||Bloodborne pathogens.|
|Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center Inc.||Outpatient Care Services||Respiratory Protection.|
|LUIS O. HERRERA M.D. P.C.||Offices of Physicians||Respiratory Protection.|
As noted in the table above, the fines were based on the OSHA basics that we deal with on a daily basis. Based on that analysis our recommendations are simple:
- Be familiar with the regulation;
- Know your workplace and the potential threats to a safe working environment;
- Implement policies and regulations as needed; and
- Train your team member on the applicable policies that apply to your work environment.
For assistance with OSHA policies, training, and required activities visit https://epicompliance.com/.
For additional information regarding OSHA and COVID 19 violations visit https://www.osha.gov/enforcement/covid-19-data/inspections-covid-related-citations.