OSHA inspectors conducting hundreds of coronavirus-related workplace investigations: report
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating almost 200 coronavirus-related cases in which employers inadequately protected their workers from the pandemic, according to USA Today.
The investigations by OSHA officials encompass workplaces in two dozen states and 96,000 workers. Half of the investigations involve employee deaths or hospitalizations, according to the report.
Throughout the pandemic, the federal agency has received criticism, with many saying that it hasn’t done enough to set concrete guidelines to protect workers from the virus.
One of OSHA’s critics has been the AFL-CIO, which sent a biting letter this week to Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia.
“For all workers, the toll of COVID-19 infections and deaths is mounting and will increase even more rapidly as workers return to work without necessary safety and health protections,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote.
He added, “Without government oversight and enforcement, too many employers are disregarding safety and health standards.”
OSHA has jurisdiction over most workplaces in the country and has the ability to set and enforce health regulations.
The agency also told USA Today that it was “acting to protect America’s workers by providing extensive guidance to employers and workers on COVID-19 response,” but didn’t comment on any specific ongoing investigation.
“The agency continues to field and respond to complaints, and will take the steps needed to address unsafe workplaces, including enforcement action, as warranted,” it told the paper.
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