- Alleged failure to provide a medical evaluation to determine employees’ ability to use a respirator before the employee is fit tested or required to use the respirator in a workplace;
- Ensuring that an employee uses a tight-fitting facepiece respirator that is fit-tested before using the respirator; and
- Keeping records of fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.
Per the OSHA Respiratory Protection Standard, using a respirator may place a physiological burden on employees, that varies with the type of respirator worn, the job and workplace conditions in which the respirator is used, and the medical status (i.e., asthma, COPD) of the employee. Therefore, employers must implement requirements for, and conduct medical evaluations, to determine whether an employee can use a specific type of respirator. The employer must provide the evaluation before fit-testing or before the employee is required to use the respirator in the workplace. If the medical evaluation reveals that the employee has a condition (i.e. asthma, COPD) that might render use of a particular respirator inappropriate, the employer should consider what other type of respirator might be appropriate.
As a result of the alleged violations, East Neck faces $15,422 in fines. East Neck has denied any wrongdoing, and has stated that it has fully complied with all CDC and New York Department of Health (DOH) guidelines. The facility is currently in settlement discussions with OSHA.