By Jessica Mathews /

A Milford construction company is among ten businesses cited for COVID-19 workplace safety violations.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) inspected and issued COVID-19 “general duty” citations to 10 different businesses with serious violations for failing to protect workers and follow workplace guidelines. The “general duty” clause requires an employer to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to the employee. On-site inspections conducted by MIOSHA’s general industry and construction industry enforcement divisions determined 10 companies allegedly committed serious violations by failing to implement necessary precautions to protect employees from contracting COVID-19. Deficiencies included a lack of health screenings, face coverings, employee training, cleaning measures and overall preparedness plans.

Milford-based Merlo Construction Company was fined $5,600 for violations of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements including failure to require face coverings for employees when social distancing could not be maintained, failing to train employees and failing to develop and follow a preparedness and response plan. A programmed inspection was conducted at a Livonia jobsite. The full citation report is attached.

The cited companies have 15 working days from receipt of the MIOSHA citations to contest the violations and penalties. The citations include suggestions to fix the hazards to protect employees. Employers then must provide proof to MIOSHA that abatement has been completed.

MIOSHA said it is again in encouraging employers to take advantage of guidance and consultation services to prevent citations and assure workplace safety.

Cited employers can also choose to enter into a Penalty Reduction Agreement (PRA) with MIOSHA and agree to abate noted hazards by the abatement date provided within the citation and will receive a 50% reduction in penalties. By entering into the PRA an employer must also agree to not seek an appeal.