State laws Workplace exposures

Michigan OSHA revises temporary COVID-19 emergency rules, drops action on permanent rules

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Lansing, MI — In addition to updating its temporary COVID-19 emergency rules intended to clarify employer requirements for protecting workers from exposure, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration has rescinded a draft of permanent COVID-19 rules.

The update comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 16 revised its COVID-19-related guidance and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an order – which went into effect May 15 – that lifted facemask requirements in most indoor and outdoor settings for fully vaccinated individuals.

Under the changes announced May 24 by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), effective immediately, the state no longer requires employers to have a policy that states in-person work is prohibited if an employee’s work activities can be done remotely. Other changes to the rules:

  • Employers may allow fully vaccinated workers to forgo face coverings and not follow physical distancing protocol if an effective policy is in place that ensures unvaccinated individuals continue to follow these requirements.
  • Cleaning and disinfection protocols now reflect CDC’s update guidance, which includes cleaning high-touch areas or shared objects once a day.
  • Employers are still required to have and implement a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan.
  • Industry-specific requirements have been eliminated.

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the temporary rules are set to expire Oct. 14 – one year after they initially went into effect.

“As we work with the administration to get back to normal, protecting Michigan workers on the job remains the top priority for MIOSHA,” Susan Corbin, acting director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, said in the release. “These updated emergency rules will give workers and businesses the clarity and confidence they need to bring our economy back to full strength.”

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