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On October 14, 2020, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) adopted emergency safety and health rules to control and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. Michigan joins Virginia as the only states that have implemented COVID-19 emergency workplace standards. To date, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has not developed workplace safety standards to address COVID-19 in the workplace, opting to issue nonmandatory workplace safety and health guidance instead. Michigan’s Emergency Rules will apply for at least six months, with the opportunity to be extended an additional six months.
The Emergency Rules require employers in Michigan to, among other things:
- Rate potential exposure of job tasks as lower, medium, high, and very high exposure risk.
- Create a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan consistent with OSHA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, including the job task exposure determinations mentioned above and measures the employer will implement to prevent exposure.
- Create a policy prohibiting in-person work for employees that may reasonably complete their work remotely.
- Implement a number of surveillance measures and workplace controls, including prohibiting employees who are sick from coming to work, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees, implementing enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures, carrying out daily self-screening protocols, notifying local health department within 24 hours of becoming aware of an employee, customer, or visitor with a known case of COVID-19, designating safety coordinators to monitor COVID-19 preparedness, and maintaining social distancing.
Employers must provide employees COVID-19 training, per state Emergency Rules. Employers must keep a record of training, protocols, and notifications to the local health department regarding known cases of COVID-19. The Emergency Rules contain specific requirements for worksites in 11 different industries, including construction, manufacturing, restaurants and bars, and meat and poultry processing. GCCA encourages all members in Michigan to carefully review the Emergency Rules to ensure full compliance. Michigan employers that fail to comply are subject to fines up to $7,000 for serious violations and $70,000 for willful violations.