The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) inspected and issued COVID-19 “general duty” citations to 10 different businesses with serious violations for failing to protect workers and follow workplace guidelines. Three of the businesses are in the Great Lakes Bay Region: Cops and Donuts in Bay City, The Saginaw Housing Commission in Saginaw and Hertz, located at MBS International Airport in Freeland.
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. On-site inspections conducted by MIOSHA’s general industry and construction industry enforcement divisions determined 10 companies allegedly committed serious 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.
A cited employer may choose to enter into a Penalty Reduction Agreement (PRA) with MIOSHA and agree to abate noted hazards by the abatement date provided within the citation and will receive a 50% reduction in penalties. By entering into the PRA an employer must also agree to not seek an appeal.
MIOSHA cited the 10 below companies for a serious violation of the general duty clause for the following issues: