Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Workplace COVID-19 complaints flood Minnesota safety inspectors


February 8, 2021

Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

Patty Keeling, vice president of the Asamblea de Derechos Civiles, led chants with a megaphone from inside her car parked outside the Pilgrim's Pride plant on May 11 in Cold Spring, Minn. JBS' Pilgrim's Pride chicken plant has been fined $28,000 for four serious safety violations.

Minnesota workplace safety inspectors have been inundated with a historic level of complaints from employees worried about COVID-19.

Yet there is no specific work-safety standard for infectious disease. Connecting COVID-19 deaths to workplaces is murky at best. And all workplaces have become potentially dangerous, increasing the stakes while pinching state resources.

"With COVID, every industry has kind of turned into a high-hazard industry," said Nicole Blissenbach, assistant commissioner for enforcement at the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry.


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