As your business reopens in the days and weeks ahead, there’s a new cop on the beat when it comes to workplace safety, appointed today by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. She has tapped Sean Egan for the role of Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety.
The governor today appointed for that role, in addition to his role as Deputy Director for Labor at the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) where he oversees MIOSHA, Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency, the Bureau of Employment Relations and the Wage and Hour Division.
Whitmer says, “Sean Egan has spent his career helping working families in Michigan and I am confident he will continue to do everything in his power to protect workers and their families from the spread of COVID-19,” adding, “He will be responsible for helping ensure that as businesses across the state begin to reopen under the MI Safe Start Plan, they enact strict safety measures to protect the health and safety of employees and customers.”
The appointment follows efforts to ensure Michigan workers are protected as the state slowly and safely begins to open different sectors of the economy. Last month, Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-91 requiring businesses to adhere to strict safety guidelines to protect workers, patrons and their communities from infection. Gov. Whitmer also signed Executive Directive 2020-6 to appoint a Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO).
Jeff Donofrio, Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, says, “This appointment is the latest in a series of steps Gov. Whitmer has taken to ensure workplaces are safe for employees and customers as we reengage our economy,” and adds, “The work Sean Egan will be doing is crucial in helping us lower the chance of a second wave, protect the brave men and women serving on the front lines of this crisis and save lives. I couldn’t think of a better person to do the job.”
For his part, Egan says, “As a Navy veteran, journeyman electrician, activist and proud Michigander, I have spent my career helping families in this state and I am honored to be appointed to serve as Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety.” Egan suggests, “By taking the right steps to protect their employees and customers, businesses will serve a critical role in lowering the chance of a second wave and I look forward to working with the business community to ensure we get this right.”
Egan, a lifelong westside Michigander, served in the Navy and afterward started an apprenticeship and became a Journeyman Electrician through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). He maintains his membership in his Union and state license as a journeyman to this day.
In 2007 he was elected by the members as the head of the Local Union representing construction electricians, manufacturing, broadcasting, and electrical motor service industries. His duties included managing the nonprofit operations and representational activities for members. In 2010, he was named as one of the “40 under 40” by the Grand Rapids Business Journal.
Egan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Davenport University, and a Juris Doctor (JD) from Thomas M. Cooley Law School he earned by going to classes nights and weekends while continuing to work and raise his three children with his wife.