Business Groups Concerned by New Michigan Workplace Rules

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, Michigan Manufacturers Association, and Michigan Retailers Association, all based in Lansing, are expressing concern as a Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) advisory committee announced plans to move forward with extending COVID-19 workplace rules on a permanent basis.
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face mask mandatory stock photo
Michigan business associations are concerned as MIOSHA plans to move forward with extending COVID-19 workplace rules on a permanent basis. // Stock photo

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, Michigan Manufacturers Association, and Michigan Retailers Association, all based in Lansing, are expressing concern as a Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) advisory committee announced plans to move forward with extending COVID-19 workplace rules on a permanent basis.

The business groups did not specify which COVID-19 workplace rules would be extended nor how they would be extended but claim the rules could come in conflict with Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and will adversely impact jobs.

The proposed rules would be similar to restrictions already in place such as requiring basic infection measures of employees including hand washing, discouraging sick employees from reporting to the workplace, and increasing cleaning and disinfecting procedures; conducting daily health screenings for employees and contractors; requiring personal protective equipment for employees; and developing COVID-19 trainings and procedures.

There are also rules specific to the construction; manufacturing; retail, libraries, and museums; restaurants and bars; health care facilities; in-home services; personal care services; public accommodations such as event values, night clubs, and skating rinks; sports and exercise facilities; meat and poultry processing facilities; and casinos.

Downloadable documents on the permanent rules are available here.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday extended COVID-19 emergency rules for six months from their ending date, which was supposed to be today. The rules will remain effective until Oct. 14. The extension of the emergency rules is available here.

According to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the permanent rule-making process could take six to twelve months, meaning the rules could take effect between October 2021 and April 2022.

The committee that created the rules is separate but related to the ongoing Return-to-Office Workgroup recently established by Whitmer. The group informs the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services orders and MIOSHA rules for employers to use in planning their re-openings.

The MIOSHA General Industry and Construction Safety and Health Standard Advisory Committee for Part 505, Coronavirus Disease 2019 was charged with advising MIOSHA on permanent COVID-19 workplace safety rules.

The committee included eight voting members including four union representatives (Michigan Nurses Association, AFSCME Local 875, West Michigan Plumbers, Fitters and Service Trades Local 174 and the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council) and four business representatives (National Electrical Contractors Association, Associated General Contractors of Michigan, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Health and Hospital Association).

In addition, there were several advisors who were non-voting members. Companies represented as technical advisors included: CAO Consulting LLC, The Christman Co., Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, Michigan Retailers Association, Michigan Manufacturer’s Association and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

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