Mich. FD fined for COVID-19 workplace safety violations

The state Occupational Safety & Health Administration cited the Memphis Fire Department for reportedly failing to provide COVID-19 training, conduct daily health checks and ensure employees wore masks

By Laura French

MEMPHIS, Mich. — A Michigan fire department was fined by state officials for workplace safety violations related to COVID-19. 

The Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued a citation to the Memphis Fire Department, stating the department had failed to develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, provide COVID-19 training to employees, perform daily health checks on employees before they entered facilities and ensure that employees were wearing masks, according to the Times Herald

The department was ordered to pay a fine of $2,100, but according to Memphis Fire Chief Justen Diaz, reached a penalty reduction agreement with MIOSHA to pay between $1,000 and $1,500. The agreement requires that the department correct the violations going forward. 

The citation stemmed from an employee complaint that led to a visit by MIOSHA inspectors in September, the citation stated. 

Diaz said that the department had many safety measures in place, but that those measures had not been sufficiently documented, and that the citation and fine were a learning experience. 

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