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MIOSHA Rules Relax COVID-19 Workplace Requirements and MDHHS Restrictions Lifted

COVID-19

On June 22, 2021, the Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration (MIOSHA) issued new COVID-19 Emergency Rules for workplaces. The new rules are effective immediately and supersede the previous May 24, 2021 workplace rules.

Under the emergency rules, “Employers must provide employees with a place of employment that is free from recognized hazards that are causing, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to the employee.” These requirements follow the preexisting requirements found in the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (“the Act”).

The new rules apply only to certain healthcare employers as defined by the Act. The prior rules, which applied to all employers covered in the Act, have been superseded and are no longer in effect. Therefore, only healthcare employers must continue to implement COVID-19 safety measures under the new rules. The requirements to implement COVID-19 safety measures for employers outside of healthcare has been lifted.

MIOSHA’s COVID-19 rules continue to be implemented under the emergency rule-making procedure. Emergency rules are enacted to expedite the rule-making process which typically takes at least several months before rules are implemented. The normal rule-making would be ineffective in addressing COVID-19 concerns in a timely matter.

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services COVID-19 restrictions have likewise been lifted as of June 22, 2021. The restrictions on gatherings, 50% capacity limits, and mask requirements are among the lifted restrictions. However, some requirements and orders remain in effect for places such as hospitals, schools, and nursing homes, among others.

Should you have any questions or issues regarding COVID-19 related or general workplace safety measures and requirements, contact the business attorneys with Shinners & Cook, P.C. today.