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MIOSHA updates COVID-19 emergency rules to align with Federal OSHA

June 22, 2021

via State of Michigan press release

Today, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) filed COVID-19 emergency rules to align with Federal OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The updated rules are effective today and set to expire Dec. 22, 2021. The rules rescind the emergency rules issued on May 24, 2021 and focus on health care. 

The updated MIOSHA emergency rules adopt the Federal OSHA ETS and focus on health care settings where known or suspected COVID-19 patients may be present.  These workplaces may have a higher exposure risk for employees and need continued protections to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

“As we continue to get Michigan back to work, our priority remains keeping workplaces safe for employees and protecting customers as they support these businesses,” said Governor Whitmer. “With our state at full capacity, we can boost our economic Jumpstart and ensure businesses can emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever while keeping their workers safe.”

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

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

Nevertheless, MIOSHA strongly encourages workplaces to follow the available CDC and OSHA recommendations to mitigate hazards. MDHHS also issued this alert regarding recommendations for wearing face masks.

MIOSHA has a duty to protect Michigan workers and the agency’s emergency rules have provided employers and employees with the guidance and certainty they needed to stay safe. These updated rules demonstrate that the agency has the flexibility it needs to ensure consistency with federal OSHA.

Non-healthcare settings should align policies with CDC guidelines to ensure they help contain the spread of COVID-19. Federal OSHA has updated guidance for non-healthcare employers as well.  

“These updates recognize the great progress we have made in Michigan to contain COVID-19 and the power of vaccinations. We will continue to provide critical workplace protections more focused on areas of increased COVID-19 risk,” said Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. “In non-health care settings, it’s important that all employers recognize that they have a general duty to provide a safe workplace.”

Media Contact: Camara Lewis, 517-930-4928

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