As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread throughout the United States, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is moving forward with enforcement of violations related to COVID-19. As of January 14, 2021, the agency has proposed penalties totaling $4,034,288.00. 
These citations have come as a result of more than 270 inspections and can be found at dol.gov/newsroom. These infractions have been cited to employers throughout all types of industries from hospitals to construction. OSHA also provides more information about individual citations at its Establishment Search website, which it updates periodically. You will see there has been an uptick in enforcement and violations issued.
OSHA inspections have resulted in the agency citing employers for violations, including failures to:
- Report an injury, illness, or fatality
- Record an injury or illness on OSHA recordkeeping forms
- Comply with the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970
- Implement a written respiratory protection program
- Provide a medical evaluation, respirator fit test, training on the proper use of a respirator and personal protective equipment (PPE)
A full list of what standards were cited for each establishment – and the inspection number – is available here. An OSHA standards database can be found here. Resources are available on the agency’s COVID-19 webpage to help employers comply with these standards.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
Also, certain states have mandated training for COVID-19 to help ensure compliance with local and state guidance. To review the requirements for each state, see this chart.
For help with compliance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance.
Publisher’s note: There has been updated guidance by U.S. OSHA entitled “National Emphasis Program – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)“, which was issued on March 12, 2021 that should be carefully reviewed and followed.