Advocacy News – June 22, 2021
Earlier today, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) rescinded and replaced its COVID-19 Emergency Rules. The revised Emergency Rules align Michigan with Federal OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) specific to health care settings. The updated rules, which now only impact health care settings versus all employers, are effective today and set to expire on Dec. 22, 2021.
What does this mean for Michigan businesses? It means health care settings continue to need protection to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but employers in non-healthcare settings can use their best judgment in determining whether to maintain daily health screenings, face-covering requirements (regardless of vaccination status), social distancing requirements and the like. This move is consistent with the rescission of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Epidemic Orders specific to face coverings and social distancing.
It’s important to note that MIOSHA is strongly encouraging workplaces to follow the available CDC and OSHA recommendations to mitigate hazards. MIOSHA is suggesting non-healthcare settings should align policies with CDC guidelines and the updated Federal OSHA guidance to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Michigan statute 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.
For more information about MIOSHA’s safety and health guidelines to protect Michigan’s workforce, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety. Employers and employees with questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the COVID-19 hotline at 855-SAFE-C19 (855-723-3219).
Please contact Wendy Block at the Chamber with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.