The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revealed that workplace safety inspectors launched almost 200 coronavirus-related investigations to determine whether employers failed to adequately protect their workers. Half of the cases being probed involved employee hospitalizations and deaths.
Many of the investigations are centered on healthcare settings, including hospitals and nursing homes. In one case, an infected maintenance worker reportedly spread the virus from room to room at a Joliet, Ill. nursing home, resulting in the deaths of 24 residents, a nursing assistant, and the maintenance worker himself.
Other employers under investigation include schools and meatpacking plants. The probes cover 24 states and companies that altogether have 96,000 employees. OSHA has sustained criticism throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for not doing enough to protect workers.
Labor unions have blasted the agency for being too lenient with employers and slow to respond to cases of unsafe work environments. Almost 4,000 coronavirus-related workplace complaints were filed with OSHA between Feb. 24 and April 6.
source: USA Today