The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations arising from 294 inspections for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $3,849,222. Most citations are relative to respiratory masks and proper fit testing and proper equipment.
OSHA inspections have resulted in the agency citing employers for violations, including failures to:
- 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;
- Record an injury or illness on OSHA recordkeeping forms; and
- Comply with the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
More guidance on how to avoid citations is provided in the links below.
Citations were also given for not properly reporting a work-related COVID-19 death. Employers are responsible for recording and reporting workplace acquired COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths. OSHA offers guidance for employers on the recording and reporting for COVID 19 cases in the workplace.
President-elect Biden has indicated that one of his first actions will be directed at OSHA to adopt a temporary safety standard related to COVID-19 in the workplace. The expectation is that OSHA will strictly and aggressively enforce the rules and issue steep fines for employers who fail to comply. Employers will need to be prepared to comply with the standards, and MRA will keep you updated on new rules, temporary or otherwise, that will arise from the new administration.
Source: OSHA.gov: Maureen Siwula, HR Business Advisor, MRA – The Management Association