Four companies accused of violating COVID-19 health protocols fined by OSHA – New Hampshire Bulletin

Four New Hampshire businesses have been fined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after being cited for violating federal COVID-19 health protocols, the agency said. database. Violations cited include a company failing to require symptomatic employees to stay home despite 43 workers testing positive for COVID-19 and failing to ensure common areas are regularly cleaned.

Three of the companies – American Performance Polymers in Colebrook, UPS in Londonderry and Villa Crest Healthcare Center in Manchester – agreed to pay fines ranging from nearly $8,000 to $15,000. None responded to messages.

The fourth — Data Electronic Systems in Salem — is contesting a $15,800 fine, Chairman Michael LaFleur said Monday.

American Performance Polymers, which makes nitrile gloves, was cited in March for failing to take required action following a September outbreak where 43 people tested positive, according to OSHA records.

The company did not notify other employees who had been in close contact with co-workers who tested positive for COVID-19, according to OSHA records. It also did not require symptomatic employees to stay home or leave work.

OSHA found that employees with COVID-19 were not required to report symptoms, and the company did not enforce masking or physical distancing or provide regular cleaning of areas where the infected employees had worked. His use of ventilators increased potential spread, records show.

“The employer has failed to provide employment and a workplace free from recognized hazards causing or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to employees,” the records say.

The company, which did not return messages, risked a fine of nearly $15,000. He reached an $8,000 settlement with OSHA in early April and must correct the violations by May 1.

In April, Villa Crest Healthcare Center, a nursing and retirement facility in Manchester, agreed to pay nearly $15,000 to settle two violations that occurred in June 2020, according to OSHA records. He had been liable to a fine of $20,800.

The center did not notify OSHA of an employee’s death from a “work-related incident” within eight hours, according to OSHA records. It also failed to ensure employees underwent “fit testing” to ensure their N95 masks fit properly.

Messages to Villa Crest Health Center were not returned.

In August, OSHA cited UPS in Londonderry for violations related to COVID-19 and fined $15,600. The company reached an $8,100 settlement earlier this month that required it to review the company’s COVID-19 policies with employees and enforce mask requirements, social distancing and cleaning procedures , according to the OSHA record.

UPS did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Data Electronic Devices, a high-tech manufacturing and design company in Salem, was cited for not reporting its 2020 work-related injuries and illnesses in time, according to an OSHA filing.

He was also cited for allegedly putting employees at risk of contracting the virus by not telling them when they had close contact with a colleague who tested positive. And OSHA found it had failed to ensure eating areas and workstations were consistently cleaned and disinfected.

The company was fined $1,756 for failing to provide timely information about work-related injuries. LaFleur said the company tried to meet its deadline but ran into technical issues.

The company is contesting a second fine of $15,800 imposed by OSHA for the alleged COVID-19 violations.

LeFleur said he followed all federal COVID-19 safety protocols, including restricting visitors, checking employee temperatures daily, using sanitation stations and putting up plexiglass screens. between workers. LeFleur purchased 30,000 masks early in the pandemic and instructed employees to use them when the federal government had a mask mandate in place. The masks remain available to employees who wish to wear them, he said.

Employees use the last five minutes of their shift to wipe down workstations, LeFleur said. There are daily cleaning crews, and LaFleur has hired a company to clean monthly using a fogger, a fogging machine that spreads disinfectant on all surfaces. The air filtration system exchanges air every seven minutes, he said.

And he sent employees home after learning they had attended a co-workers wedding where someone tested positive for COVID-19, he said.

“Part of our company mission statement is to have the happiest employees in the world,” LeFleur said. “We try to do the right things for our employees and make sure they are safe and happy.”

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