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MIOSHA Emergency Rules Updated – 6/23/21

Yesterday, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings increased to 100% and the state no longer requires residents to wear a face mask. Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) also filed COVID-19 emergency rules to align with Federal OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The updated rules went into effect yesterday and are set to expire Dec. 22, 2021. The rules rescind the emergency rules issued on May 24, 2021 and focus on health care settings.

The updated MIOSHA emergency rules explicitly state, “These rules apply to all healthcare employers covered in the Michigan occupational safety and health act,” and solely focus on health care settings where known or suspected COVID-19 patients may be present. Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity states, “These workplaces may have a higher exposure risk for employees and need continued protections to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Dialing back workplace rules for non-healthcare settings allows employers to use their best judgment in determining whether to maintain:

  • Daily health screenings
  • Face covering requirements; and
  • Social distancing requirements

MIOSHA strongly encourages workplaces to follow the available CDC and OSHA recommendations to mitigate hazards. Further, Michigan statute requires employers to provide a “safe and healthful work environment free of recognized hazards.”  This means COVID-19 will need to continue to be managed as a hazard in the workplace and citations are still possible under MIOSHA’s general duty clause.