Advocacy News – July 8, 2021
As previously reported, the Michigan Occupational and Safety Health Administration (MIOSHA) rescinded and replaced its COVID-19 Emergency Rules on May 24 to mirror the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety requirements. Although the OSHA guidance does not impose legal obligations on employers, state and federal law requires employers to provide a “safe and healthful work environment free of recognized hazards.” This means COVID-19 will need to continue to be managed as a hazard in the workplace and citations are still possible under MIOSHA’s general duty clause.
Employers continue to have a duty to “educate and train workers on your COVID-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in a language they understand.” This can be accomplished by updating your COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan (previously required by the MIOSHA Emergency Rules). COVID-19 Preparedness and Response plans should document your ongoing preventative measures, evidencing the provision of the requisite “safe and healthy workplace,” including cleaning and disinfection protocols and the requirement that certain employees are prohibited onsite (e.g., any employee who is symptomatic of and/or diagnosed with COVID-19 and any employee who is not fully vaccinated and experienced close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the preceding 14 days).
Our friends at the Bodman law firm continue to advise that all employers should have an updated COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan on record and have supplied an updated Preparedness and Response Plan template for employers to use. The FREE template can be found HERE. This article, authored by Bodman, further addresses the continued value of a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.
Please contact Wendy Block with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.