Grocery Store Faces $10K in OSHA COVID-19 and Workplace Safety Violations
The Georgia grocery store was investigated as part of OSHA’s National Emphasis Program (NEP) for COVID-19. Launched on March 12, 2021, OSHA’s coronavirus NEP is intended to help protect high-risk workers from hazards related to COVID-19 exposure. The NEP expands upon existing inspection provisions, with an emphasis on non-healthcare facilities, such as meat/poultry processing plants, chemical manufacturers, warehouses, and agricultural sites.
During the OSHA inspection, the agency identified several alleged safety violations, including failure to develop and implement timely and effective measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and worker exposure to amputation hazards by failing to provide adequate guarding on a meat cutter band saw.
As a result, OSHA issued $9,362 in civil penalties to the grocer. The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.
6th Circuit Requested to Dissolve Stay on OSHA Vax-or-Test ETSThe Biden Administration submitted a motion to dissolve the stay on OSHA’s vaccination-or-testing standard on November 23.
The Administration argues that the Fifth Circuit’s decision to stay the vax-or-test ETS lacked sufficient rationale, writing “Congress charged OSHA with addressing grave dangers in the workplace, without any carve-out for viruses or dangers that also happen to exist outside the workplace.”
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (in Cincinnati) was selected by lottery to hear a challenge to the ETS, which would require large employers to implement a vaccination-or-testing program for employees.
OSHA has stayed implementation and enforcement of the ETS until legal challenges are resolved.
COVID-19 Safety Awareness Online TrainingLion launched the COVID-19 Employee Safety Awareness Online Course to help US workplaces operate safely during the pandemic. As facilities continue to expand operations, it is crucial that employees know how to protect themselves and their co-workers from exposure to COVID-19.
The course prepares employees to:
- Recognize signs, symptoms, and risk factors for COVID-19.
- Describe how the COVID-19 disease is transmitted.
- Follow recommended hygiene and work protocols to prevent exposure.
- Properly use and care for PPE and face coverings, when required.
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