Lansing, MI - As the state continues to prioritize worker safety and health, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) inspected and issued COVID-19 “general duty” citations to five 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 five 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 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 Agreement an employer must also agree to not seek an appeal.
The latest MIOSHA citations were issued to the below companies for a serious violation of the general duty clause for the following issues:
- Kroger Fuel Center in Roseville, MI was Kroger Fuel Center in Roseville, Michigan was fined $6,300.00 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements including not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, not informing employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace, not developing and enforcing policies and procedures for employees to report when they are sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID19, not conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks of workers as they report to work, and not ensuring that employees wore a cloth face covering as a measure to contain the wearer's respiratory droplets and help protect their co-workers. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint.
- Integrity Business Solutions LLC in Grand Rapids, MI was fined $3,500 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements including not developing a preparedness and response plan, the lack of training for employees, not conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks or have employees self-monitor, and no face coverings when employees were within six feet of each other. The inspection was initiated from the programmed inspection list.
- International Wholesale in Allen Park, MI was fined $3,500 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements including the lack of a preparedness and response plan and failing to conduct the daily health screening including a questionnaire. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint.
- Marvin S. Taylor DDSPC dba Dr Taylors Family Dental Center in Waterford, MI was fined $2,100 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements including not using proper personal protective equipment such as gowns or protective clothing and face shield while performing tasks likely to generate splashing or spattering of body fluids, not installing physical barriers at the reception area, not ensuring patients have donned their own face covering and provide a facemask if supplies are adequate, not screening all dental healthcare personnel for COVID-19 symptoms and taking their temperature, not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, not providing COVID-19 training to employees, and not posting visual alerts at the entrance and in strategic places to provide instructions about hand and respiratory hygiene and wearing a cloth face covering or face mask. The employer was also cited for not requiring respiratory protection. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint.
- Andy’s Pizza Inc. in Jackson, MI was fined $1,000 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements including not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, not training employees on COVID-19, not conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks, not requiring face coverings when social distancing could not be maintained, and not posting signs at the store entrance. Total penalties including other workplace violations were $3,000. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint.
Visit Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety for employee and customer 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.
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.