A barber shop shows closed and hiring sign during the COVID-19 in Chicago, Thursday, April 30, 2020. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating three complaints about safety and health standards related to barber shops in Maine during the pandemic. Credit: Nam Y. Huh | AP

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The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating three complaints about safety and health standards related to barber shops in Maine during the pandemic.

News of the investigations comes a week after barber shops and hair salons were allowed to open under the first phase of the state’s reopening plan.

The shops must adhere to state guidance, including seeing clients by appointment only and requiring employees to wear gloves and face masks. OSHA outlined its own guidance for workplace safety in March.

Some shops have voiced concerns about reopening and their ability to meet the state’s protocols.

An OSHA spokesperson offered few details on the investigations in Maine, but said in an email that “workers have legal rights to a safe workplace under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This includes being provided required protective gear.”

The agency says the investigations could take up to six months to complete.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.

Watch: Janet Mills outlines her plan to reopen

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