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OSHA Virus Citation Highlights Key Compliance Challenges

October 19, 2021

By: Patrick S. Bickford

Law 360

Patrick Bickford recently wrote an article for Law 360 entitled "OSHA Virus Citation Highlights Key Compliance Challenges."

In October 2021, OSHA issued two Citations to a Fort Collins, Colorado, based insurance agency. The first Citation alleges a violation of the OSH Act’s “General Duty Clause”, finding that the insurance agency failed to furnish a place of employment free from recognized hazards by “ignor[ing] coronavirus safety requirements and allow[ing] others displaying symptoms to work at the same Denver location where an employee died with COVID-19.”


The second Citation alleges that the insurance agency violated 29 C.F.R. § 1904.39(a)(1) for failing to report the death of a paralegal assistant with-in 8-hours. A critical component of the second Citation is that the paralegal assistant passed away due to COVID-19 and the death was a “work-related incident.”OSHA’s Citation in this instance raises several important questions for employers, including, when is a case of COVID-19 considered “work-related,” and under what circumstances is an employer required to report the death or in-patient hospitalization of such employees?

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