More than 4,100 coronavirus-related complaints have been filed with the Occupational Safety & Health Association (OSHA) since March, and many of the situations documented in complaints have led to one or more worker deaths, according to a report first released by Kaiser Health News.
Roger Liddel, a supplies agent for McLaren Flint Hospital in Michigan, for example, recently lost his life after being denied access to personal protective equipment on the job. McLaren Flint has been the subject of five OSHA complaints to date, each decrying that employees have access to “zero PPE.” Each of the complaints was dismissed without proper investigation.
Of the 4,100-plus complaints that have been filed with OSHA, more than two-thirds are now marked as “closed”. Twenty-one of those closed complaints allege that workers faced threats of retaliation for actions such as speaking up about the lack of PPE. About 1,300 complaints remain open and about 275 fatality investigations are ongoing.
Former OSHA official Deborah Berkowitz calls the lack of oversight and investigation “a tragedy.”
Read more about the frontline workers who have lost their lives due to OSHA’s ineffective coronavirus oversight here.