Earlier today, Governor Whitmer announced that the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“MIOSHA”) was scaling back its COVID-19 workplace rules for employers in non-healthcare settings. MIOSHA then issued revised Emergency Rules which formally supersede the Emergency Rules it previously issued on May 24, 2021.
MIOSHA’s new Emergency Rules, which take effect immediately and will remain in effect for six (6) months, apply to employers in healthcare settings and incorporate the recent federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) emergency rules applicable to those entities. The new MIOSHA Emergency Rules can be found at the following link: https://www.michigan.gov/documents/leo/MIOSHA_COVID_Emergency_Rules_726100_7.pdf.
This shift by MIOSHA means that employers outside of the healthcare setting now have discretion to determine what COVID-19 workplace safety measures they will implement, as daily health screenings, maintenance of a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, mandates that non-vaccinated employees wear face coverings in certain workspaces, etc. are no longer required by MIOSHA for these employers. These employers should not abandon all COVID-19 protocols, however, as Sean Egan, Michigan’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director, emphasized that all employers still have a general duty to provide a safe workplace for their employees. A Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (“LARA”) release states that MIOSHA urges employers in non-healthcare settings to “align policies with CDC guidelines to ensure they contain the spread of COVID-19” and noted that OSHA has also released guidance for these employers.
Employers with questions regarding MIOSHA’s new rules and/or with questions regarding what COVID-19 policies they should implement and/or maintain to meet their general duty to provide a safe workplace should contact Nikole L. Canute (moc.sreyemakim@etunacn), Nathaniel R. Wolf (moc.sreyemakim@flown), or their Mika Meyers attorney.