Michigan cites Niles company in connection with COVID-19 safety measures

A business in Niles is one of six the state has cited for violations of the COVID-19 "general duty" regulations, according to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

“We’re focused on education first so employers know what they must do to safely reopen. But a failure to follow guidelines puts everyone at risk. While these citations are necessary to prevent potential serious illness, they are not a reflection of the tremendous cooperation we have seen from employers and their workers across the state,” said Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. “A vast majority of businesses are doing their part to keep our economy open by following the proper guidance.”

The “general duty” clause requires employers 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.

Deficiencies cited included a lack of health screenings, face coverings, employee training, cleaning measures and overall preparedness plans.

The cited companies will 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.

  • United Shore Financial Services, LLC, based in Pontiac
  • UPS distribution facility based in Livonia, MI
  • Speedway, LLC, gas station and convenience store location based in Waterford, MI
  • Coop’s Iron Works, a fitness center based in Saginaw, MI
  • Dan Freed, a residential contractor based in Eaton Rapids, MI
  • Hills Roofing, LLC based in Niles, MI

“The MIOSHA investigations determined that these six employers were clearly not taking the appropriate steps to protect employees and their communities from the spread of COVID-19,” MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman said. “These citations are meant to reiterate the employer’s duty. Precautions are necessary to establish and maintain a work environment where everyone can return home safe and healthy.”

MIOSHA provided the following information on the citations:

Hills Roofing, LLC based in Niles, MI was fined $5,300. A regular programmed inspection was initiated at a Niles, MI jobsite.

  • The employer allowed workers within six feet of one another when it was feasible to have them work more than six feet apart.
  • The employer did not require workers to wear face coverings when they did not consistently maintain six feet of separation.
  • The employer had not developed a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, which would have included requirements for social distancing and use of face coverings.
  • The employer had not conducted employee training on COVID-19 that covered social distancing and the use of face coverings.
  • The employer was also in violation of additional workplace safety standards leading to additional fines (included in total).

ABC57 has reached out to Hills Roofing and has not heard back yet.

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