KSL INVESTIGATES

KSL Investigates: Handful Of Businesses Refuse COVID-Related Inspections

Jan 25, 2021, 9:22 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Two months have passed since a statewide mask mandate required businesses to ensure employees are wearing masks to work.

The temporary administrative rule is enforced by the Utah Occupational Safety and Health Division, which is the state’s equivalent of OSHA. The rule states employers and employees must mask up at work. Not doing so can mean punitive actions.

“They can be fined up to $7,000, so it can be quite substantial,” said UOSH spokesman Eric Olsen.

Olsen told KSL Investigators the vast majority of businesses are complying with the temporary rule.

According to court documents, there have been four instances where UOSH had to seek administrative warrants to compel certain businesses to allow them to inspect the property following a complaint about masking.

These businesses — Fluent Homes LLC., Susie M’s Gallery of Fine Tattooing, Bella’s Fresh Mexican and Wasatch IT — all initially refused entry when state inspectors came knocking within the last three weeks.

Olsen said they could not comment on specific investigations that are currently in progress. In one affidavit, an inspector claimed the business owner told him “they are covered by the freedom of speech and continued talking about his rights.”

Olsen said UOSH, rather than local health departments, is overseeing this part of the mask mandate because it has to do with employer and employee safety. “We don’t have any jurisdiction over the customers — just over the employers and employees,” Olsen said.

Those businesses who continue not to follow state rules could see additional punitive action.

“They can continue to get penalties if they’re not going to adhere to what the rule is,” Olsen said. “(If) they keep getting found to have violated the rule, they could continue to get fines on top of that, and at some point, the business has to look at that. Is it worth it? Is it worth it to keep doing this and what’s it going to cost me? Because those fines aren’t just going to go away.”

The emergency rule is currently in place until Feb 22.


Have you experienced something you think just isn’t right? The KSL Investigators want to help. Submit your tip at investigates@ksl.com or 385-707-6153 so we can get working for you.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

KSL Investigates

Matt Gwyther (left) and Dennis Rowley Gwyther (right). (Photo Provided By: Matt Gwyther)...
Daniella Rivera

How mental health staffing shortages are delaying justice in Utah’s courts

A Utah man waiting for justice after the 2019 murder of his husband says staffing issues at the Utah State Hospital have contributed to months of delays in court.
4 days ago
...
Mike Headrick and Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Newly built homes deemed unlivable due to sliding soil

If you want to know what a sinking home sounds like, just ask Eric and Carole Kamradt.
5 days ago
Brenda White cookies...
Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Rent prices down nationwide but very high in Utah

All over the country, the cost of rent is finally starting to go down. But that is not the case here in Utah.
7 days ago
...
Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: Cybersecurity experts caution shoppers to take it slow while shopping online

For many of us, Christmastime is magical. For scammers, it’s especially magical. Here's what to beware of when shopping online.
13 days ago
Gephardt makes butter...
Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Can you save money by making your own butter?

Prices for groceries are up, but the price we pay for butter is way, way up – to the point it will impact your holiday baking budget.
14 days ago
(KSL TV)...
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Packed holiday flights: How SLC Int’l stacks up against US’s largest airports in delays and cancelations

Travelers, brace yourselves: holiday flights will be packed.
14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
KSL Investigates: Handful Of Businesses Refuse COVID-Related Inspections