MIOSHA Issues New COVID-19 Workplace Safety Rules
As we head into cold and flu season, Michigan’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued new emergency rules to keep employees safe in the workplace during the pandemic.
The rules replace some regulations first put forth in Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders.
The mandates cover all kinds of things related to prevention and sanitation and include but are not limited to the following: employers must provide thorough training to employees, have a written plan that outlines safety, prevention and outbreak responses, and have health screenings in place.
Some industries, like manufacturing and food processing, have additional steps they need to take.
The hotel industry in Traverse City has invested a lot of time and resources into implementing changes. Cambria Suites Operations Director Ron Robinson says they’re following strict new rules.
“Social distance, wear masks, have hand sanitizer…you want to have an action plan on site for your employees and for anyone to see what the protocol is for any situation that comes up,” Robinson says. “The biggest thing is employee screening when they come into work every day.”
Britten Banners in Traverse City is trying to take a proactive approach.
Britten’s safety director, Dan Rinehart, says, “We have designated COVID-supervisors, if you will, that are in those areas and they’re responsible for spreading the message and being compliant and doing the surveys and screenings and wearing masks.”
MIOSHA’s coronavirus safety director says these rules will be in place for six months but could be extended.
“Our goal, since the outset of this crisis, has been to educate before we regulate to make sure that as we’re all learning together,” says Sean Egan, MIOSHA’s coronavirus safety director.
Egan’s team is providing consultations and ambassadors to any business who wants to make sure they’re in compliance.
For the most part, businesses have been doing a good job at keeping workers safe.
“MIOSHA has received some 4,000 complaints at this point in time and we’ve seen press on about 35 citations… that that’s a good indicator that businesses are doing all they can,” Egan says.
MIOSHA has set up a website with resources and FAQ’s. You can find it here.
They also have a hotline that employees or business owners can call with questions. The number is 855-SAFE-C19 or 855-723-3219