Cal/OSHA Issues Citations to Multiple Employers for COVID-19 Violations
Oakland, CA (WorkersCompensation.com) - Cal/OSHA has cited multiple employers for not protecting workers from COVID-19 following inspections in various industries throughout the state. Violations were identified in industries including construction, garment, correctional institutions and medical. Cal/OSHA opened the inspections after learning of COVID-19 fatalities and illnesses, and after receiving complaints. The full list of employers cited for COVID-19 violations is posted on Cal/OSHA's website.
The inspection at the Los Angeles Apparel factory occurred after reports of an outbreak, including six employees who died from COVID-19 complications. Cal/OSHA determined that Los Angeles Apparel intentionally did not report the COVID-19 fatalities. Cal/OSHA cited the employer for six serious, one willful-regulatory, three regulatory and seven general violations. One of the serious violations was failure to evaluate COVID-19 hazards, such as the lack of physical distancing or barriers to separate employees operating sewing machines. Another serious violation was the lack of employee training on preventing COVID-19 infection in the workplace.
An inspection was opened at the California Prison Industry Authority in Vacaville after the employer reported the serious illness of an employee hospitalized for COVID-19 complications, and another employee tested positive for the virus. Cal/OSHA cited the employer for three serious violations after finding deficiencies in its Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) and respiratory protection programs that exposed employees to COVID-19 infection.
Also cited for two COVID-19 related serious violations was Integrated Pain Management Medical Group, a San Leandro-based medical practice. Cal/OSHA opened an accident inspection following a report of an employee who was hospitalized for COVID-19 complications. The employer was cited after Cal/OSHA found that it failed to implement an effective employee COVID-19 screening procedure and that it had deficiencies in its respiratory protection program.
Cal/OSHA cited the Roseville-based framing contractor Erickson Framing CA, LLC following two COVID-19 complaint-based inspections at worksites in Vacaville and Fairfield. At the Vacaville site, the Cal/OSHA inspector found that the employer was not enforcing the use of face coverings or physical distancing between employees. In a subsequent inspection at the Fairfield worksite a month later, the Cal/OSHA inspector again found the same hazards: a lack of physical distancing and failure to require the use of face coverings. Cal/OSHA cited the employer for a serious violation in each instance for the employer's failure to effectively establish, implement and maintain procedures to correct unhealthy conditions related to COVID-19 that affected its employees, including its failure to enforce face covering use and physical distancing for COVID-19 prevention.
To assist employers with understanding their requirements to protect workers from COVID-19, Cal/OSHA has created guidance and resources. This includes a model written COVID-19 Prevention Program, COVID-19 information page and free webinars for certain industries from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.
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