Cal/OSHA Issues First Coronavirus-Related Citations

Cal/OSHA Issues First Coronavirus-Related Citations

California's Occupational Safety and Health Agency has issued citations to multiple employers for COVID-19 violations.

Cal/OSHA has cited 11 employers for not protecting employees from COVID-19 exposure, according to a press release. The citations were handed down to companies in the food processing, meat packing, health care, agriculture and retail industries with penalties ranging from $2,025 to $51,190.

Employers were cited for not protecting workers from exposure to COVID-19 because they did not take steps to update their workplace safety plans to properly address hazards related to the virus. The inspections were opened after Cal/OSHA was notified of series illnesses, complaints of workplace hazards and after proactive joint enforcement efforts.

“We have identified these industries as priorities in our strategic enforcement efforts to make sure employers have adequate COVID-19 infection prevention procedures in place,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Doug Parker. “These are industries where workers have been disproportionately affected, and these citations are the first of many to be issued in the coming weeks and months.”

The company to receive the highest penalty of $51,190 was DL Poultry, Inc., a Monterery Park food processing facility. Cal/OSHA says the company put their workers at risk for serious illness because they did not ensure employees were physically distanced at least six feet apart in the processing area, nor did they install Plexiglas or other barriers between workers. The inspection at this facility came after a complaint of workplace hazards.

Six of the 11 citations were handed down to companies in the agriculture industry. The agricultural employers cited were inspected in July as part of California Governor Newsom’s multi-agency strategic enforcement taskforce to address COVID-19 hazards. Several of these employers were also cited for failure to protect their workers from heat illness.

Cal/OSHA also conducted almost 8,000 compliance assistance visits in July to identify and correct issues on the spot, and engaged with more than 400,000 businesses as part of an ongoing outreach and education effort that has included emails and conference calls with trade associations, employer groups, employers, labor and other stakeholders. Cal/OSHA is also providing live, online training for employers in the agriculture, meatpacking and food processing sectors.

Cal/OSHA has created guidance for many industries in multiple languages including videos, daily checklists and detailed guidelines on how to protect workers from the virus. This guidance is meant to provide a roadmap for employers on their existing obligations to protect workers from COVID-19.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - July August 2022

    July / August 2022

    Featuring:

    • CONFINED SPACES
      Specific PPE is Needed for Entry and Exit
    • HAZARD COMMUNICATION
      Three Quick Steps to Better HazCom Training
    • GAS DETECTION
      Building a Chemical Emergency Toolkit
    • RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
      The Last Line of Defense
    View This Issue