As Michigan returns to full capacity today, lifting all pandemic gathering restrictions and the state’s face mask orders, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has filed COVID-19 emergency rules to align with Federal OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard. The updated rules are effective today and set to expire December 22, 2021. The rules rescind the emergency rules that were issued on May 24, 2021 and focus on health care.
The updated MIOSHA emergency rules adopt the Federal OSHA standard and focus on health care settings where known or suspected COVID-19 patients may be present. Those workplaces may have a higher exposure risk for employees and need continued protections to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Governor Whitmer says today, “As we continue to get Michigan back to work, our priority remains keeping workplaces safe for employees and protecting customers as they support these businesses,” and adds, “With our state at full capacity, we can boost our economic jumpstart and ensure businesses can emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever while keeping their workers safe.”
Dialing back workplace rules for non-health care settings allows employers to use their best judgment in determining whether they want to maintain:
- Daily health screenings…
- Face covering requirements…
- Social distancing requirements…
Nevertheless, MIOSHA strongly encourages workplaces to follow the available CDC and OSHA recommendations to mitigate hazards.
Gov. Whitmer says MIOSHA has a duty to protect Michigan workers and the agency’s emergency rules have provided employers and employees with the guidance and certainty they needed to stay safe. Those updated rules demonstrate that the agency has the flexibility it needs to ensure consistency with federal OSHA.
Non-healthcare settings should align policies with CDC guidelines to ensure they help contain the spread of COVID-19. Federal OSHA has updated guidance for non-healthcare employers as well at this link: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery
Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan says, “These updates recognize the great progress we have made in Michigan to contain COVID-19 and the power of vaccinations. We will continue to provide critical workplace protections more focused on areas of increased COVID-19 risk,” and adds, “In non-health care settings, it’s important that all employers recognize that they have a general duty to provide a safe workplace.”
To request MIOSHA’S consultation, education and training services, any business can call 517-284-7720 or online at MIOSHA Request for Consultative Assistance.
For more information about MIOSHA’s safety and health guidelines to protect Michigan’s workforce, you can visit http://Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using COVID-19 hotline at 855-SAFE-C19 (855-723-3219).