SALEM, Ore. — Oregon OSHA announced Monday that it has levied another set of fines against businesses found in violation of the state's coronavirus mandates, this time stemming from two locations of the hardware chain Lowe's Home Improvement.
The locations in Redmond and Albany received citations totaling $35,600 after inspections in response to multiple complaints, OSHA said. Inspectors said that supervisors at both locations were "fully aware" of Oregon's requirements on face coverings, but decided against requiring them in-store.
“It is not enough to leave the protection of employees in the hands of cooperative customers,” said Michael Wood, administrator for Oregon OSHA. “As most employers recognize, they must take appropriate steps to ensure that the rules in place are actually followed. When an employer is not prepared to take such steps, we can and will use our enforcement tools to address the issue.”
OSHA said that both stores failed to require that customers wear face coverings, prompting fines of $17,500 for each. The Redmond location was also cited for failing to develop a complete risk assessment for potential employee exposure to COVID-19, and did not implement an infection control plan. Each of those violations carried a penalty of $300.
As in all previous cases, employers have 30 days to appeal citations.