Eight Workplaces Fined in Latest Round of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Citations

MIOSHA encourages employers to take advantage of education and consultation services to prevent citations and assure workplace safety

January 8, 2021

Contact: Erica Quealy, 517-582-2961

As the state continues to prioritize worker safety and health, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) inspected and issued COVID-19 emergency rule or general duty citations to eight different workplaces with violations for failing to protect workers and take safety precautions.

Under MIOSHA’s Emergency Rules, businesses that resume in-person work must, among other things, have a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and provide thorough training to their employees that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of personal protection equipment (PPE), steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions. An emergency rule citation carries a fine of up to $7,000.

The MIOSHA general duty clause requires an employer to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to the employee. A general duty clause citation carries a fine of up to $7,000.

On-site inspections conducted by MIOSHA’s general industry and construction industry enforcement divisions determined eight employers allegedly committed violations by failing to implement necessary precautions to protect employees from contracting COVID-19. Deficiencies included a lack of health screenings, face coverings, employee training, cleaning measures and overall preparedness plans. 

The cited employers have 15 working days from receipt of the MIOSHA citations to contest the violations and penalties. Citations include suggestions to fix hazards to protect employees. Employers must provide proof to MIOSHA that abatement has been completed.  

A cited employer may choose to enter into a Penalty Reduction Agreement with MIOSHA and agree to abate noted hazards by the abatement date provided within the citation and will receive a 50% reduction in penalties. By entering into the Agreement an employer must also agree to not seek an appeal.

The latest MIOSHA citations were issued to the below companies for the following issues: 

  • Memphis Fire Department in Memphis, MI was fined $2,100 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements under the general duty clause including not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that helps guide protective actions against COVID-19; not providing COVID-19 training to employees; not conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks of employees before they entered the facility; and not ensuring that employees wore a cloth face covering. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint, view the full citation document.
     
  • At Home Stores in Roseville, Michigan, was fined $7,000.00 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements under the general duty clause including not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that can guide protective actions against COVID-19 and not conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks of employees before they entered the facility.  The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint, view the full citation document.
     
  • Autozone in Davison, Michigan, was fined $4,000 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements under the general duty clause including not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, not requiring employees to wear cloth face coverings and not requiring employees to social distance. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint, view the full citation document.
     
  • Daner’s Diner in Lapeer, Michigan, was fined $1,900 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements under the emergency rules including not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan; not providing employee training on COVID-19; not increasing facility cleaning and disinfection to limit SARS-CoV-2 exposure; not establishing procedures for disinfecting the worksite if it is suspected or confirmed that an employee, visitor, or customer has a known case of COVID-19; not conducting a daily self-screening protocol for employees; not designating a COVID-19 safety coordinator onsite; not posting signs advising employees to stay at home when they are sick; not posting signs advising employees of proper cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene; not keeping everyone on the worksite premises at least 6 feet from one another through the use of ground markings, signs, and physical barriers; not providing non-medical grade face coverings to employees working onsite; and not requiring the use of face coverings for employees that work less than six feet from other individuals onsite. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint, view the full citation document.
     
  • Kokomos Family Fun Center in Saginaw, Michigan, was fined $2,000 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements under the general duty clause including not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, not requiring employees to wear cloth face coverings, not requiring employees to social distance, and not posting signs for non-English speakers that include advising employees to stay at home when sick and of proper cough and sneeze etiquette. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint, view the full citation document.
     
  • Painters Supply and Equipment Co. in Canton, Michigan, was fined $3,500 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements under the emergency rules including not requiring employees to wear cloth face coverings and not requiring employees to social distance. The inspection was initiated as a planned programmed inspection, view the full citation document.
     
  • South Lake Public Schools in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan, was fined $4,900 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements under the general duty clause including not developing an infectious disease preparedness and response plan that can guide protective actions against COVID-19; not providing COVID-19 training to employees; and not conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks of employees before they entered the facility. The employer was also fined $4,900 for not having a written hazard communication program developed, implemented, and maintained. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint, view the full citation document.
     
  • Twin Peaks in Livonia, Michigan, was cited for a violation of the COVID-19 workplace safety under the emergency rules requirement regarding a written preparedness and response plan. The inspection was initiated in response to an employee complaint, view the full citation document.
     

A complete list of MIOSHA COVID-19 workplace safety citations is available online.

Visit Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety for employee and customer factsheets, educational videos, a sample COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, best practices that employees need to follow and a reopening checklist to help businesses put safeguards in place.

For more information about MIOSHA’s safety and health guidelines to protect Michigan’s workforce during the pandemic, employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the new hotline at 855-SAFE-C19 (855-723-3219). 

To report health and safety concerns in the workplace, go to Michigan.gov/MIOSHAcomplaint.

Information around COVID-19 is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at michigan.gov/coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.