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Eaton Rapids contractor, 5 other business, cited for not taking COVID-19 precautions

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LANSING – An Eaton Rapids contractor is among six Michigan businesses cited by the state for failing to take adequate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Dan Freed, a residential contractor, and the five other business received “general duty” citations for serious violations that might have jeopardized their workers’ health. the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration said.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks about the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Tuesday, June 30, 2020 (Photo: Courtesy photo)

“The MIOSHA investigations determined that these six employers were clearly not taking the appropriate steps to protect employees and their communities from the spread of COVID-19,” MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman said in a news release. “Precautions are necessary to establish and maintain a work environment where everyone can return home safe and healthy.”

Employers are required to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards that might cause death or serious physical harm to employees, MIOSHA said. A general duty citation carries a fine of up to $7,000.

To stay open, employers must familiarize themselves with COVID-19-related requirements, the agency said. MIOSHA’s general industry and construction industry enforcement divisions conducted inspections to verify compliance.

The six companies were cited for deficiencies that include a lack of health screenings, face coverings, employee training, cleaning measures and overall preparedness plans.

They’ll have 15 working days to contest the violations and penalties.

The employer allowed workers within six feet of one another when it was feasible to have them work more than six feet apart.

The employer did not require workers to wear face coverings when they did not consistently maintain six feet of separation.

The employer had not developed a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, which would have included requirements for social distancing and use of face coverings.

The employer had not conducted employee training on COVID-19 that covered social distancing and the use of face coverings.

The employer was also in violation of additional workplace safety standards leading to additional fines (included in total).

The State Journal could not immediately find a phone listing for the Eaton Rapids contractor.

The other companies to be cited by MIOSHA are Pontiac-based United Shore Financial Services, LLC, a UPS distribution facility in Livonia, a Speedway gas station in Waterford, Niles-based Hills Roofing and Coop’s Iron Works, a Saginaw-based fitness center.

Pandemic-related safety and health guidelines can be found here

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