Tracking COVID-19 -Related OSHA Citations
Many State OSHA agencies have been active this year in citing employers for safety violations related to COVID-19. Federal OSHA, however, has only recently begun to cite employers for such violations. The purpose of this post is to track these federal citations thereby underscoring for employers the new emphasis being placed by the agency on COVID-19.
So far, OSHA’s focus has been directed at meat packing plants and hospitals.
Sept. 10, 2020 – Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp.
At least 1,294 workers employed at Smithfield Packaged Meats Corp., in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, contracted coronavirus, and four employees died from the virus in the spring of 2020.On Sept. 10, 2020 OSHA announced it had cited Smithfield for violations of the general duty clause of the OSH Act. OSHA proposed a penalty of $13,494. Smithfield has announced its intention to contest the citation.
Sept. 10, 2020 – Christus Shreveport-Bossier Health System
Earlier this year, employees of the Christus Shreveport Health System complained to OSHA of exposures to COVID-19 due to improper protection protocols. On Sept. 10, 2020, OSHA announced it had cited Christus for personal protective equipment violations. OSHA proposed a penalty of $13,494. Christus has announced its intention to contest the citation.
Sept. 11, 2020 – JBS Foods
Onn Sept. 11, 2010, OSHA demonstrated that meat packing companies are a national emphasis for inspections and citations. OSHA announced it had cited JB Foods for violations of the general duty clause of the OSH Act. OSHA proposed a penalty of $15,615.