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Saginaw Gym Among Businesses Issued COVID-19 Citations for Workplace Safety Violations

(source: Alpha Media/Kayla Peake)

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:

  • The employer allowed employees to work in a shared office space without wearing face coverings.
  • The employer allowed employees to work within six feet of one another without face coverings.
  • The employer allowed newly hired employees to meet in a large group in excess of 120 people without wearing face coverings while seated within six feet of one another.
  • Employees are not notified within 24 hours of the employer learning an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19 visited the office.

UPS distribution facility based in Livonia, MI and was fined $7,000. An inspection was initiated from a complaint. 

    • The employer did not ensure all sorters/loaders participated in a daily entry health screening protocol.
    • The employer allowed delivery drivers and loaders working in the facility to work within six feet of one another when it was feasible to have them work more than six feet apart
    • The employer did not require employees to wear face coverings when they did not maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace.
    • The employer did not ensure sufficient cleaning measures of delivery vehicles.
    • The employer had not conducted employee training on COVID-19 that covered all the elements of the preparedness and response plan.
    • The employer had not adequately implemented their COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, including enforcement of face coverings, social distancing, and health screening.

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.

    • The employer allowed employees to inadequately wear face coverings under the nose and mouth or not at all.
    • The employer did not monitor or enforce the adequate use of face coverings by employees that could not maintain social distancing.
    • The employer did not conduct daily health screenings of employees before starting their shift.
    • The employer did not keep a record that training was completed for the firm’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plan at the worksite.
    • The employer did not train employees on the recognition of symptoms of COVID-19.
    • The firm did not make a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan available to employees at the worksite.
    • The employer did not appoint an onsite monitor to enforce the firm’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plan while staff were present at the worksite.
    • The employer did not provide face coverings free of charge to employees onsite.
    • The employer did not inform customers of the requirement to wear a face covering inside the building.

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.

    • The employer had not developed a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan.
    • The employer did not provide COVID-19 training to employees that covered workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of personal protective equipment, steps the employee must take to notify the business of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis.
    • The employer did not conduct a daily health screening of employees entering the facility.
    • The employer did not require employees to wear face coverings when they could not consistently maintain six feet of separation from one another while in the facility.
    • The employer had not posted a sign outside of the facility entrance informing individuals not to enter if they were sick or have recently been sick with symptoms of COVID-19 or a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
    • The employer did not configure workout stations or implement protocols to enable ten feet of distance between individuals during exercise sessions (or six feet of distance with barriers) to the extent feasible.
    • The employer did not maintain accurate records of gym attendees, including date and time of visit, name of attendees and contact information to aid with contact tracing.
    • The employer had not closed the steam rooms and saunas.

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.

    • The employer allowed workers within six feet of one another when it was feasible to have them work more than six feet apart.
    • The employer did not require workers to wear face coverings when they did not consistently maintain six feet of separation.
    • The employer had not developed a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, which would have included requirements for social distancing and use of face coverings.
    • The employer had not conducted employee training on COVID-19 that covered social distancing and the use of face coverings.
    • The employer was also in violation of additional workplace safety standards leading to additional fines (included in total).

Hills Roofing, LLC based in Niles, MI was fined $5,300. A regular programmed inspection was initiated at a Niles, MI jobsite.

    • The employer allowed workers within six feet of one another when it was feasible to have them work more than six feet apart.
    • The employer did not require workers to wear face coverings when they did not consistently maintain six feet of separation.
    • The employer had not developed a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, which would have included requirements for social distancing and use of face coverings.
    • The employer had not conducted employee training on COVID-19 that covered social distancing and the use of face coverings.
    • The employer was also in violation of additional workplace safety standards leading to additional fines (included in total).


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