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Michigan OSHA extends COVID-19 temporary emergency rules

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Lansing, MI — In response to a recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the state, Michigan OSHA has extended until Oct. 14 its temporary emergency rules intended to clarify employer requirements for protecting workers from exposure.

Under the rules – effective since Oct. 14 – establishments that resume in-person work are required to have a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, as well as provide thorough training to employees. Training topics must include workplace infection-control practices, proper use of personal protective equipment, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed case, and how to report unsafe working conditions.

Employers also must continue implementing policies that require remote work for employees where feasible, to help with COVID-19 mitigation efforts by minimizing in-person contact.

According to an April 13 press release from MIOSHA, since March 2020, employers in the state have reported more than 40 worker deaths from the disease. The agency also has received more than 12,000 complaints from workers regarding COVID-19-related hazards on the job.

Additionally, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reports that between Sept. 3 and April 1, cases of COVID-19 in the workplace totaled 670 at manufacturing and construction sites, 332 in office settings, and 250 in restaurants and bars.

 

“It’s important to note that the emergency rules implement workplace safeguards for all Michigan businesses,” MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman said in the release. “The rules also include requirements for specific industries, including manufacturing, construction, retail, health care, exercise facilities, restaurants and bars.”

The agency notes that the rules can be modified or withdrawn at any time in response to changes in COVID-19 spread.

Employers and workers with questions about the rules can call MIOSHA’s new hotline at 855-SAFE-C19 (855-723-3219) or visit Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety.

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