Michigan fines 5 more businesses for COVID-19 violations

Karen Bouffard
The Detroit News

The state continued to take legal action against COVID-19 scofflaws on Tuesday, with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration fining five businesses for what it said were failures to protect workers from contracting the virus.

The businesses were issued "general duty" citations under a Michigan law that requires employers to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm. General duty violations can be punished with fines up to $7,000.

MIOSHA’s general industry and construction industry enforcement divisions conducted inspections and found that the companies allegedly failed to implement health screenings, face mask requirements, employee training, cleaning protocols or other measures needed to keep employees safe, according to a press release the agency issued Tuesday.

On Monday, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission temporarily suspended the liquor licenses of five businesses that it found violated COVID restrictions this month, including a Wyandotte bar whose patrons became so "hostile" to a state investigator, she said she was forced to call police.

In another alleged infraction, the owner of a Warren sports bar told an investigator he knew he was violating state orders but was doing what he could "to keep the business alive," according to a Liquor Control Commission report.

Among fines announced by MIOSHA on Tuesday:  

  • Kroger Fuel Center in Roseville was fined $6,300 for a long list of violations, including not requiring employees to wear face masks, and failing to inform workers of possible exposure to COVID-19. 
  • Integrity Business Solutions LLC in Grand Rapids was fined $3,500 for not conducting daily in-person or virtual health checks, not requiring face coverings when employees were within six feet of each other and other violations. 
  • International Wholesale in Allen Park was fined $3,500 for several violations found during an inspection prompted by an employee complaint. 
  • Marvin S. Taylor of Dr. Taylor's Family Dental Center in Waterford was fined $2,100 for several violations, including not using proper personal protective equipment such as gowns or protective clothing and face shields while performing procedures that could cause splashing or spattering of bodily fluids. 
  • Andy’s Pizza Inc. in Jackson was fined $1,000 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements found during an inspection that was prompted by an employee complaint. Total penalties including other non-COVID-19 violations, came to $3,000. 

The cited companies have 15 working days from receipt of the MIOSHA citations to contest the violations and penalties, and employers who enter into a penalty reduction agreement with MIOSHA can have fines cut by 50%. 

kbouffard@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @kbouffardDN