Employers are having difficulty meeting their workplace safety obligations amid the coronavirus pandemic, as recent fines from OSHA inspectors show.

As of early October, OSHA inspectors had issued more than $1.2 million in fines to 85 businesses across the country for workplace safety violations, including some in Connecticut.

New Haven attorneys Phyllis Pari and John Letizia said the recent inspections and fines should highlight to every employer the importance of adhering to workplace safety rules during the pandemic.

“All employers should take this increase in OSHA enforcement activity seriously, and take steps to respond to employee workplace complaints and enhance workplace safety measures centered around exposure to COVID-19,” the attorneys said.

Among the reported OSHA violations inspectors found at workplaces across the country range from failure to implement a respiratory protection program to reporting and recordkeeping violations, to failure to comply with OSHA’s General Duty Clause.

The clause requires employers to provide “a place of employment which (is) free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm” to employees.

Pari and Letizia, of the firm Letizia, Ambrose & Falls, note although much of OSHA’s enforcement activity concerns employers in the healthcare industry, agency investigations and fines have also impacted other employers as well, hence the need to follow the law.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Philip Montgomery (860.244.1982).