June 2021 Enforcement

OSHA cites IL company after one employee dies, 22 sickened by coronavirus

Illinois

A few days after employees at Midwest Warehouse and Distribution System Inc. gathered in its Naperville facility breakroom for a luncheon, some workers experienced symptoms consistent with coronavirus exposure. Employees began reporting to the company that they had tested positive for the coronavirus on Oct. 27, 2020. A U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation alleges the company failed to take immediate steps to identify, inform, isolate and quarantine all potentially exposed employees.

By Nov. 9, 2020, 23 employees tested positive for the coronavirus, including one worker who died from complications on Nov. 4, 2020.

OSHA’s inspection found the company failed to follow its own internally developed controls for potential coronavirus exposure or take immediate steps to contain the outbreak. On Nov. 4, 2020, following discussions with the DuPage County Health Department, the facility closed. The agency has proposed a penalty of $12,288 for one serious violation of OSHA’s general duty clause.

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Audrey Copeland
Author: Audrey Copeland

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