OSHA inspection

OSHA COVID Related Fines Are on the Rise

According to the CDC, there are now a reported 7,835,007 cases, with 215,194 deaths, and some are concerned the end is nowhere in sight. Pharmaceutical companies are racing to find a vaccine but with the upcoming flu season and the holidays fast approaching, experts agree there is cause for concern.

Another factor to consider – COVID fatigue.

Not the fatigue one feels as a symptom, but the physiological burnout people are experiencing with constant diligence for safety precautions. John Hopkins Medicine recently wrote an article about the reasons why this happens and some step to take to stay the course.

And as people have returned to school and businesses continue to remain open, now is not the time to let our collective guards down.

OSHA COVID-Related Fines

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through October 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited 62 establishments for violations, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $913,133.

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.

OSHA has already announced citations relating to 37 establishments, which can be found at dol.gov/newsroom.

In addition to those establishments, there have been an additional 25 establishments that have received coronavirus-related citations totaling $429,064 from OSHA relating to one or more of the above violations from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, 2020.

Complaints by Selected Essential Industry

Without proper training, any business has the potential to be cited by OSHA for COVID related complaints.

The graph below shows the number of OSHA COVID-related complaints based on broad industry types across the United States.

 

Each state has reported complaints, as well. In May, there were a reported 900 formal complaints filed against Massachusetts businesses from workers alleging failures to adequately protect them from COVID-19 risks.

The number of complaints continues to rise. As of October 12th, the states of MA, RI, CT, NH, and VT had a combined 1,550 COVID related complaints against companies.

Not surprising, the highest number of complaints were against healthcare related business, mainly nursing homes. A Georgetown, MA dentist practice was fined by OSHA $9,500 for six serious and one other-than-serious violations. OSHA also alleges Hartford HealthCare, through its Natchaug Hospital, failed to properly log eight work-related cases of COVID-19 dating back to March and has been fined $13,500.

Keeping Your Business Safe

We’ve written numerous blogs regarding ways to help keep your business and employees safe. You can view a few here:

We’re Here to Help

Protecting yourself and others by following the CDC’s recommended safety protocols can help reduce the risk of contracting the virus or spreading it to others.

In these challenging times, the risk of exposure is more prevalent than ever. We offer the following safety service options:

COVID-19 CONSULTING BUNDLE – Written directive/policy on requirements which can be either a corporate policy or a site-specific policy.

COVID-19 TRAINING (INFECTION CONTROL WEBINAR) – We offer Open Enrollment Classes and Private Company Sponsored Classes made available at your convenience.

COVID19 TESTING – We now offer COVID-19 Testing Services For Colleges, Universities, Private Companies, And Public Agencies

If you have concerns about your workforce and coronavirus, please contact us today to learn about steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and your employees.