A roofing contractor in Niles, Mich., was among the six businesses recently cited by the Michigan Occupation Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) for not upholding COVID-19 safety protocols.

MIOSHA announced today that it cited Hills Roofing LLC and five other businesses with "serious violations" following its first round of COVID-19 inspections, saying the companies potentially put workers in harm's way.

“We’re focused on education first so employers know what they must do to safely reopen," said Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. "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. A vast majority of businesses are doing their part to keep our economy open by following the proper guidance.”

The citations fall under the "general duty" clause, which requires an employer to provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing, or likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to the employee. The citation carries up to a $7,000 penalty.

MIOSHA fined Hills Roofing $5,300 following an inspection at a jobsite in Niles. The contractor is accused of allowing workers within 6 feet of one another when it was feasible to not have them work more than 6 feet apart. The employer also didn't require workers to wear face masks or coverings when not 6 feet apart, didn't have a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and didn't conduct employee training on COVID-19, which would have covered social distancing and the use of face coverings.

The other companies fined by MIOSHA include:

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

“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.”

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 must provide proof to MIOSHA that abatement has been completed.