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OSHA issues another $500K in COVID-19 citations

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued nearly $500,000 in COVID-19 citations between Oct. 23 and Oct. 29, bringing the total number of proposed penalties against employers for failing to protect workers from coronavirus to nearly $2.5 million, the agency announced Friday.

In the last week of October, OSHA levied fines against 35 employers for various violations, including failure to implement a written respiratory protection program; failure to fit test and provide training on proper use of respirators; failure to report an injury, illness or fatality; and failure to comply with the general duty clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

The employers cited, predominantly in the health care industry, are located in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Texas.

On Friday, OSHA also issued guidance to help employers understand which standards most frequently are being cited in connection with coronavirus. Respiratory protection, recording and reporting of injuries and illnesses, personal protective equipment and general duty clause violations are among the most frequently cited standards, the agency said.

The guidance urges employers to remember to conduct medical evaluations of workers before fit testing; establish, implement and update respiratory protection programs; provide proper training on respirators and other PPE; and provide proper storage to protect PPE from damage. 

Source: Business Insurance