The agency responsible for making sure workplaces are safe has found hundreds of violations related to coronavirus since the pandemic began, according to a news release from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the United States Department of Labor. In just one week, from November 6th through the 12th, OSHA conducted 29 inspections resulting in citations totaling $296,919 nationwide and $162,361 in New Jersey.
During the course of the pandemic, the agency has issued 232 citations, resulting in proposed penalties of $3,148,452 nationwide. Workplace safety violations ranged from failure to record or report injuries, illnesses and fatalities, and even lack of a written respiratory protection program. Employers were cited for not conducting training on the proper use of a respirator or PPE (personal protective equipment). In some instances, there were no medical evaluations or respirator fit tests. Such violations could put employees and customers/patients at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Any action or inaction that violates the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was grounds for citation. According to this Act, reported OSHA, “employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.” OSHA helps ensure safe conditions through education and enforcement of standards.
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