The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) recently issued COVID-19 “general duty” citations to 19 businesses with violations for failing to uphold safety and health workplace guidelines, potentially putting workers in harm’s way. The citations totaled $51,400 in penalties.
The MIOSHA “general duty” clause requires an employer to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that have caused, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees.
On-site inspections conducted by MIOSHA’s general and construction industry enforcement divisions determined 19 companies allegedly committed violations by failing to implement necessary precautions to protect employees from contracting COVID-19. Deficiencies included a lack of health screenings, face coverings, employee training, cleaning measures, and overall preparedness plans.
The cited companies will have 15 working days from receipt of the MIOSHA citations to contest the violations and penalties. The citations include suggestions to fix the hazards to protect employees. Employers must provide proof to MIOSHA that abatement has been completed.
Two Macomb County businesses were cited and were fined a total of $8,500. Citations include failure to require face coverings when social distance could not be maintained, the lack of a preparedness and response plan, failure to train employees on COVID-19, failing to conduct a daily health screening protocol, failing to post signs at entrances, and failing to maintain/retain records on training employees on COVID-19 guidelines.
A set of online resources at michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety provides posters for employees and customers, factsheets, educational videos, a sample COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, best practices that employees need to following and a reopening checklist to help businesses put safeguards in place.