The select group of Americans who are deemed essential workers amid the coronavirus pandemic have filed thousands of Occupational Safety and Health Administration complaints, reporting an overwhelming lack of workplace safety precautions, according to The Washington Post. Those who are “essential” to a functioning society—such as grocery store, hospital, and pharmacy workers—have been sounding the alarm about the dire need for masks, gloves, and sufficient sanitation procedures to protect against the virus, the Post reported. “Delivery drivers are required to disinfect vehicles using personally bought chemicals, without being trained on the hazards associated with such activities and chemicals,” one complaint, obtained by the Post, reads.
Some complaints allege that workers were provided masks made out of paper towels, while others record a lack of protective gear among technicians who are huddled together at work, according to the newspaper. “The large number of complaints they have received is powerful evidence that workers across the country are terrified and frustrated that their employers are not providing them with safe workplaces,” David Michaels, former OSHA chief, told the Post.