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Respiratory Hazard Top OSHA Offense 6 Months Into Pandemic (1)

Oct. 5, 2020, 5:13 PMUpdated: Oct. 5, 2020, 9:44 PM

Respiratory protection citations have emerged as OSHA’s top enforcement tool, six months into its inspections of U.S. workplaces for safety infractions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Through Sept. 24, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted 37 inspections that led to 76 respiratory-related citations, and proposed $484,069 in fines, the agency said on Oct. 2. Just two of those have resulted in employers being written up for worker protection failures under the gap-filling general duty clause.

OSHA and Labor Department officials had previously said the general duty clause would be used for hazards that weren’t covered by other agency rules ...