Federal agencies Fines/penalties Workplace exposures

OSHA lists most common COVID-19-related violations

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Washington — OSHA has published an overview of its most common COVID-19-related citations – and a reminder of employer requirements.

According to a Nov. 6 agency press release, the General Duty Clause is among the standards most frequently cited during coronavirus-related inspections, while the others involve respiratory protection (1910.134), personal protective equipment (1910.132), and injury and illness recordkeeping and reporting (Subpart 1904).

In a separate one-page document, OSHA lists several requirements employers should remember, including:

  • Provide a medical evaluation before a worker is fit tested or uses a respirator.
  • Establish, implement and update a written respiratory protection program with required worksite-specific procedures.
  • Educate workers on how to safely use respirators and/or other PPE, and inform them of changes in the workplace that could make previous training obsolete.
  • Store respirators and other PPE properly, in a way that protects them from damage, contamination, and, where applicable, deformation of the facepiece and exhalation valve.
  • Keep records of work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses.

Both guidance documents include a link to OSHA’s free, confidential On-Site Consultation Program as well as information on the agency’s temporary enforcement discretion policy during the pandemic.

“By understanding which workplace hazards have most often resulted in OSHA citations, employers can better ensure that they are adequately protecting workers,” the agency states.

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