The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has issued the first round of COVID-19 “general duty” citations after inspections at several businesses around the state. Six different businesses were cited with serious violations for failing to uphold safe and healthy practices, potentially putting workers in harm’s way.
Among the businesses cited was a Saginaw fitness center, Coop’s Iron Works, which was fined $2,100. The business was inspected after a referral from the Saginaw County Health Department, which noted several confirmed COVID-19 cases associated with the facility.
The cited companies will have 15 working days from receipt of the MIOSHA citations to contest the violations and penalties. The citations include suggestions on fixing the hazards to protect employees and the businesses must provide proof that the issues have been corrected.
“We’re focused on education first, so employers know what they must do to safely reopen. But a failure to follow guidelines puts everyone at risk. While these citations are necessary to prevent potential serious illness, they are not a reflection of the tremendous cooperation we have seen from employers and their workers across the state,” said Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. “A vase majority of businesses are doing their part to keep our economy open by following the proper guidance.”
The MIOSHA “general duty” clause requires an employer to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to the employee. A general duty clause citation carries a fine of up to $7,000.
“The MIOSHA investigations determined that these six employers were clearly not taking the appropriate steps to protect employees and their communities from the spread of COVID-19,” MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman said. “These citations are meant to reiterate the employer’s duty. Precautions are necessary to establish and maintain a work environment where everyone can return home safe and healthy.”
MIOSHA released the following summary of the citations:
MIOSHA cited the six companies for a serious violation of the general duty clause for the following reasons:
United Shore Financial Services, LLC, based in Pontiac, MI was fined $6,300. An inspection was initiated due to multiple employee complaints and reports from the Oakland County Health Department of COVID-19 outbreaks among employees:
UPS distribution facility based in Livonia, MI and was fined $7,000. An inspection was initiated from a complaint.
Speedway, LLC, gas station and convenience store location based in Waterford, MI and was fined $6,300. An inspection was initiated under the MIOSHA State Emphasis Program for service industries.
Coop’s Iron Works, a fitness center based in Saginaw, MI and was fined $2,100. An inspection was initiated after a referral from the Saginaw County Health Department noted several confirmed COVID-19 cases associated with this facility and the facility is operating indoors in violation of the Executive Order.
Dan Freed, a residential contractor based in Eaton Rapids, MI and was fined $6,400. A programmed inspection was initiated at a Grand Ledge, MI jobsite.
Hills Roofing, LLC based in Niles, MI was fined $5,300. A regular programmed inspection was initiated at a Niles, MI jobsite.