OSHA didn’t investigate many workplace safety complaints it received during pandemic, report finds

When people feel like their safety or health is at risk on the job, they can file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or one of its local branches. During the pandemic, many factory workers filed these complaints. Image by Ekkasit Chaingam from Pixabay

More than half a million Americans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic took off here almost one year ago. A lot of them likely caught the disease at work, performing essential jobs in health care, manufacturing, and food supply.

Typically when people feel like their safety or health is at risk on the job, they can file a complaint with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or one of its local branches. 

A lot of people did that during the pandemic. A Wall Street Journal investigation found that OSHA got nearly 93,000 complaints between February 2020 and the beginning of this year. That’s a more than 70% increase over the same period the previous year.

But the Wall Street Journal also found that OSHA never investigated a lot of those complaints, including more than 1000 deaths linked to workplace transmission of COVID. 

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