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Release Number: 2021-13
February 4, 2021

Cal/OSHA Issues Citations to Multiple Employers for COVID-19 Violations

Oakland—Cal/OSHA has cited multiple employers for not protecting workers from COVID-19 during inspections in various industries throughout the state. Violations were identified in industries including health care, restaurant, retail, fitness centers, correctional institutions and more. Cal/OSHA opened the inspections after learning of COVID-19 fatalities and illnesses, after receiving complaints and during targeted inspections. The full list of employers cited for COVID-19 violations is posted on Cal/OSHA’s website.

The employers cited for COVID-19 violations include but are not limited to:

Employer Name Industry Worksite Location Inspection
San Quentin State Prison Correctional Institutions San Quentin Accident $421,880
Avenal State Prison Correctional Institutions Avenal Accident $39,600
BSF Fitness II LLC Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers Ventura Complaint $57,740
Kaiser Permanente San Leandro General Medical and Surgical Hospitals San Leandro Accident $87,950
Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Antioch Accident $56,000
Kaiser Permanente Walnut Creek Medical Center General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Walnut Creek Accident $45,000
Mills-Peninsula Medical Center General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Burlingame Accident $25,250
NorthBay Medical Center General Medical and Surgical Hospitals Fairfield Complaint $25,250
Fremont Healthcare Center Nursing Care Facilities Fremont Accident $59,000
Sunray Healthcare Center Nursing Care Facilities Los Angeles Fatality $53,805
San Miguel Villa Nursing Care Facilities Concord Complaint $32,000
Coldwater Care Center LLC dba Sherman Village Healthcare Center Nursing Care Facilities Valley Village Accident $21,115
Cardenas Market Grocery Stores Oakland Referral $30,670
Grimmway Enterprises, Inc. Agriculture Holtville Accident $30,600
Carter's Children's Wear Children's Clothing Stores Gilroy Fatality $15,125

Inspections at the San Quentin and Avenal state prisons occurred after reports of hospitalizations of staff following outbreaks at the institutions. Cal/OSHA determined that San Quentin staff were not provided adequate training or equipment for working with COVID-19 infected individuals, and employees who had been exposed to COVID-19 positive inmates were not provided proper medical services, including testing, contact tracing and referrals to physicians or other licensed health care professionals. Cal/OSHA issued citations for four willful-serious, five serious, one regulatory and four general category violations, including the employer’s failure to institute an effective aerosol transmissible diseases (ATD) control exposure plan. Avenal State Prison was cited for three serious violations after Cal/OSHA found it failed to maintain an effective written ATD program including site-specific instruction, had an inadequate written respiratory protection plan, and failed to implement and/or enforce work practice controls to minimize exposure to COVID-19 amongst employees.

Cal/OSHA cited the Ventura-based fitness center BSF Fitness for one willful-serious, two serious and six general category violations following a COVID-19 complaint-initiated inspection opened last July, after Cal/OSHA received a report that the employer was not enforcing face covering use and physical distancing in its gym. Cal/OSHA determined the employer failed to effectively establish, implement and maintain procedures to correct unhealthy conditions related to COVID-19 that affected its employees, including its failure to enforce face covering use and physical distancing for COVID-19 prevention.

Cal/OSHA opened accident inspections following reports of serious COVID-19 related illnesses at the Kaiser Permanente medical centers in San Leandro, Antioch and Walnut Creek, and Burlingame-based Mills-Peninsula Medical Center; and opened a complaint-initiated inspection at Fairfield-based NorthBay Medical Center. The facilities were cited for serious and regulatory violations after Cal/OSHA found multiple deficiencies in their ATD and respiratory protection programs, and that the employers failed to immediately report COVID-19 related serious illnesses.

Also cited for multiple serious violations due to ATD deficiencies that Cal/OSHA determined exposed their employees to COVID-19 infection were four skilled nursing centers: Sunray Healthcare Center and Sherman Village Healthcare Center (both located in the Los Angeles area), Fremont Healthcare Center in Fremont, and San Miguel Villa in Concord. Fremont Healthcare Center and San Miguel Villa were also cited for a regulatory violation after Cal/OSHA found they failed to immediately report serious illnesses suffered by employees who were hospitalized with complications from COVID-19.

Cal/OSHA cited Cardenas Market in Oakland for multiple violations including three serious-category violations following an inspection opened after learning from media coverage of an outbreak where seventeen workers tested positive for COVID-19 last May, including one worker who was hospitalized due to complications from the infection. Cal/OSHA determined that Cardenas Market failed to adequately address the potential outbreak of the coronavirus among workers by implementing preventative measures. Cardenas Market did not initially implement or require face coverings or masks, physical distancing or training of workers on coronavirus hazards. Cardenas Market also failed to immediately report a COVID-19 related serious illness.

Grimmway Enterprises, Inc. was cited for multiple violations including two serious-category violations, following a fatality-initiated inspection when an employee was hospitalized and died from COVID-19 after working at a carrot field in Holtsville. Cal/OSHA found that the employer did not implement methods or procedures to correct unhealthy conditions or work practices relating to COVID-19 that affected its employees working outdoors, and the employer failed to provide its employees effective training and instruction on the hazards of COVID-19.

Cal/OSHA also cited Carter's Children's Wear in Gilroy for one regulatory and one serious citation following a COVID-19 accident inspection. Cal/OSHA found that the employer failed to immediately report a COVID-19 related serious illness and failed to establish, implement and maintain an effective Injury Illness Prevention Program.

To assist employers with understanding their requirements to protect workers from COVID-19, Cal/OSHA has created guidance and resources. This includes a model written COVID-19 Prevention Program, COVID-19 information page and free webinars for certain industries from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Employers and workers who have questions or need assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch at 800-963-9424.

Complaints about workplace safety and health hazards can be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices. Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734).

Contact: Erika Monterroza / Frank Polizzi, Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161.