The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) released the following on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020:
LANSING, MICH. To prioritize worker safety and health, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) inspected and issued COVID-19 “general duty” citations to nine different businesses with serious violations for failing to protect workers and take safety precautions.
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 nine 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 nine below companies for a serious violation of the general duty clause for the following issues:
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 follow and a reopening checklist to help businesses put safeguards in place.
To enhance MIOSHA’s consultative services, the new MIOSHA Ambassador Program partnership with NSF International will send safety and health experts to businesses statewide now to offer education and support, with a focus on workplaces with a higher risk of community transmission in the retail, restaurant and bars, and fitness center industries. To request free consultation, training services, call 517-284-7720 or online at MIOSHA Request for Consultative Assistance.
For more information about MIOSHA’s safety and health guidelines to protect Michigan’s workforce during the pandemic, Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the new hotline at 855-SAFE-C19 (855-723-3219).
To report health and safety concerns in the workplace, go to Michigan.gov/MIOSHAcomplaint.