Last fall, Gov. Whitmer put temporary emergency COVID-19 workplace safety rules in place to help stop the spread of the virus and keep workers safe. But now, the governor is trying to make these emergency rules permanent!

Over the past year, thousands of Michigan businesses have permanently closed their doors and thousands of jobs have been lost for good. Making these temporary workplace rules permanent even after the virus is gone will be a tremendous burden for those businesses who managed to survive. Michigan workers and job providers deserve better.

You have an opportunity to make your voice heard and speak up against Gov. Whitmer’s endless emergency! The feedback you provide below, including your name and contact information, will be sent directly to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity on your behalf as a public comment.

Please don’t wait to share your concerns with the governor – the public comment period ends May 26!

Read the full set of proposed rules here, or see a brief summary below.
Whitmer’s Endless Emergency
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Below is a list of the proposed permanent workplace rules and a brief description of each.
Proposed Rule 3:
  • Requires employers to evaluate routine and anticipated tasks and procedures to determine whether there is actual or reasonably anticipated employee exposure to COVID-19.
  • Employers will categorize job tasks and procedures into the following categories:
    • Lower exposure risk
      • Does not require contact with people known or suspected to have contracted the virus no frequent close contact with the general public.
      • Minimal occupational contact with the public and co-workers.
    • Medium exposure risk:
      • Includes frequent or close contact with those who may be infected by are not known or suspected COVID-19 patients.
      • In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, these workers may have contact with the general public.
    • High exposure risk:
      • Jobs with high potential for exposure to known or suspected sources of COVID-19.
      • These workers could be licenses health care professionals, medical first responders, nursing home employees, law enforcement, correctional officers or mortuary workers.
    • Very high exposure risk:
      • These jobs are those with high potential for exposure to known of suspected sources of COVID-19 during specific medical, postmortem or lab procedures.
      • These workers can include health care worker performing aerosol-generating procedures on known or suspected COVID-19 patients, health care or lab personnel collecting or handling specimens from known or suspected COVID-19 patients, morgue workers performing autopsies on bodies of those known or suspected of having COVID-19 at the time of their death.
Proposed Rule 4:
  • Requires employers to create a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan.
  • Plans must be written and consistent with CDC and OSHA guidance of workplace safety.
  • Plans must include the employers risk determination from rule 3 and measure the employer will implement to prevent exposure.
    • This includes any engineering controls, administrative controls, basic infection prevention measures, PPE, health surveillance, and training.
  • Plans must be readily available to employees and their representatives via website, internal network or hard copy.
Proposed Rule 5:
  • Employers must:
    • Promote frequent handwashing and provide a place for handwashing. If soap and water are not available, the employer shall provide hand sanitizer.
    • Require workers who are sick not to report to work or work in an isolated location.
    • Prohibit workers from using other workers’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.
    • Increase facility cleaning and disinfection to limit exposure to COVID-19, especially on high touch surfaces, paying special attention to parts, products and shared equipment.
    • Establish procedures for disinfection in accordance with CDC guidance if it is suspected or confirmed that an employee, visitor, or customer has a known case of COVID-19.
    • Use EPA approved disinfectants that are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of all cleaning and disinfecting products.
    • Create a policy prohibiting in-person work for employees to the extent that their work activities can feasibly be completed remotely.
Proposed Rule 6:
  • Employers must:
    • Conduct a daily entry self-screening protocol for all employees or contractors, including at a minimum, a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19, together with, if possible, a temperature screening.
    • Direct employees to promptly report any signs and symptoms of COVID-19 to the employer before or during the work shift.
    • Physically isolate any employees known or suspected to have COVID-19 from the remainder of the workface, via:
      • Not allowing known or suspected cases to report to work.
      • Sending known or suspected cases away from the workplace.
      • Assigning known or suspected cases to work alone at a remote location (i.e., their home), as their health allows.
    • Upon learning of an employee, customer, or visitor with a known case:
      • Immediately notify the local public health department.
      • Within 24 hours of learning of the case, notify any co-workers, contractors, or supplier who may have come into contact with the person with a known case of COVID-19.
    • Allow employee with a known or suspected case of COVID-19 to return to the workplace only after they are not longer infectious according to CDC guidelines and they are released from quarantine or isolation by order of the local public health department.
Proposed Rule 7:
  • Employers must:
    • Designate one or more worksite COVID-19 safety coordinators to implement, monitor, and report on the COVID-19 control strategies under these rules. The safety coordinator must remain on site at all times when employees are present. An onsite employee may be designated for the role.
    • Place posters in the language common in the employee population that encourage staying away from the workplace when sick, cough and sneeze etiquette, and proper hand hygiene practices.
    • Keep everyone on the worksite premises at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible and to reduce congestion, including using ground markings, signs, and physical barriers, as appropriate to the worksite.
    • Provide non-medical grade face coverings to their employees at no cost to the employee.
    • Require face coverings to be worn when employees cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace and consider face shields when employees cannot maintain three feet of separation.
    • Require face coverings in shared spaces, including during in-person meetings and in restrooms and hallways.
Proposed Rule 8:
  • Employers must:
    • Provide employees with the types of PPE, including respirators if necessary, for protection from COVID-19 appropriate to the exposure risk associated wit the job. The employer must follow current CDC and OSHA guidance for PPE.
    • Ensure that PPE is properly fitted and worn; used consistently; regularly inspected, maintained, and replaced as necessary; and properly removed, cleaned, and stored or disposed of to avoid contamination of self, others or the work environment.
    • In establishments that provide medical treatment or housing to known or suspected cases of COVID-19, the employer must ensure that employees in frequent or prolonged close contact with such cases are provided with and wear an N95 respirator, goggles or face shield, and a gown.
Proposed Rule 9:
  • Construction:
    • Create dedicated entry point(s) at every worksite for daily screenings if possible. In the alternative, issue stickers or other indicators to employees that show they received a screening before entering the worksite that day.
    • Identify choke points and high-risk areas where employees must stand near one another and control their access and use in order to maintain social distancing.
    • Create protocols for minimizing personal contact upon delivery of materials to the worksite.
  • Manufacturing:
    • Create dedicated entry points at every facility for daily screening and ensure physical barriers are in place to prevent anyone from bypassing the screening.
    • Create protocols for minimizing personal contact upon delivery of materials to the facility.
  • Retail, libraries, and museums:
    • Create communications material for customers to inform them of changes to store practices and to explain precautions take to prevent infection.
    • Require patrons to wear a face covering (unless the patron is unable medically to tolerate a face covering).
    • Post signs at store entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering when inside the store.
    • Post signs at store entrances informing customers not to enter if they’ve recently been sick.
    • Design spaces and store activities in a manner that encourages employees and customers to maintain six feet of distance from one another.
    • Install physical barriers at checkouts or other service points that require interaction, including plexiglass barriers, tape markers, or tables, as appropriate.
    • Establish an enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocol for high-touch areas like restrooms, credit-card machines, keypads, counters, shopping carts and other surfaces.
  • Restaurants and bars:
    • Require six feet of separation between parties or groups at different tables or bar tops.
    • Require patrons to wear a face covering except when seated at their table or bar top.
    • Prohibit access to common areas in which people can congregate, dance, or otherwise mingle.
    • Create communications materials for customers to inform them of change to restaurant or bar practices and to explain the precautions that are being taken to prevent infections.
    • Post signs at store entrances informing customers not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.
    • Post signs instructing customers to wear face coverings until they are seated at their table.
    • Require hosts, servers, and staff to wear face coverings in the dining area in addition to areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Health care (includes health facilities or agencies, including outpatient health care facilities, clinics, primary care physician offices, dental offices and veterinary clinics)
    • Post signs at entrance(s) instructing patients to wear a face covering when inside, except as necessary for identification or to facilitate an examination or procedure.
    • Limit waiting-area occupancy to the number of individuals who can be present while staying six feet apart from one another and ask patients, if possible, to wait in cars for their appointment to be called.
    • Mark waiting rooms to enable six feet of social distancing.
    • Conduct a common screening protocol for all patients, including a temperature check and questions about COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Place hand sanitizer and face coverings at patient entrance(s).
    • Require patients to wear a face covering when in the facility, except as necessary for identification or to facilitate an examination or procedure.
    • Install physical barriers at sign-in, temporary screening, or other service points that normally require personal interaction.
  • In-home services (including cleaners, repair persons, painters and the like):
    • Maintain accurate appointment records, including date and time of service, name of client, and contact information, to aid with contact tracing.
    • Prior to entering the home, inquire with the customer whether anyone in the household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or has had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. If so, the businesses or operation must be scheduled for a different time.
  • Personal-care services (including barbering, cosmetology, body art services, tanning services, massage services, or similar personal-care services):
    • Post sign(s) at all entrance(s) instructing customers to wear a face covering when inside the facility.
    • Post sign(s) at store entrance(s) informing customers not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.
    • Restrict entry to customers, to a caregiver of those customers, or to the minor dependents of those customers.
    • Limit waiting-are occupancy to the number of individuals ho can be present while staying six feet away from one another and ask customers, if possible, to wait in cars for their appointment to be called.
    • Discard magazines in waiting areas and other nonessential, shared items that cannot be disinfected.
    • Mark waiting areas to enable six feet of social distancing (i.e., by placing X’s on the ground and/or removing seats from the waiting room).
    • Require employees and customers to wear a face covering at all times, except that customers may temporarily remove a face covering when receiving a service that requires its removal. During services that require a customer to remove their face covering, an employee must wear a face shield or goggles in addition to the face covering.
  • Public accommodations (sports and entertainment facilities, including arenas, cinemas, concert halls, performance venues, sporting venues, stadiums and theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, night clubs, skating rinks, and trampoline parks):
    • Post signs at all entrances instructing customers to wear a face covering when inside.
    • Post signs outside of entrances informing customers not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.
    • Require patrons to wear a face covering at all times (unless the patron is unable medically to tolerate a face covering).
    • Establish crowd-limiting measures to meter the flow of patrons (i.e., digital queuing, delineated waiting areas, parking instructions, social distance markings on the ground, or cones to designate social distancing).
    • For sports and entertainment facilities, establish safe exit procedures for patrons (i.e., dismiss groups based on ticket number, row).
  • Sports and exercise facilities (gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, exercise facilities, exercise studios, bowling alleys, roller rinks, ice rinks and like facilities):
    • Post signs at all entrances instructing customers to wear a face covering when inside.
    • Post signs outside of entrances instructing individuals not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.
    • Mandate wearing of facial coverings at all times except when swimming.
    • Provide equipment cleaning products throughout the facility for use on equipment.
    • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly.
  • Meat and poultry processing:
    • Create at least one dedicated entry point at every facility for daily screenings and ensure physical barriers are in place to prevent anyone from bypassing the screening.
    • Provide clean face covering or disposable mask options for employees to use when the coverings become wet, soiled, or otherwise visibly contaminated over the course of a workday.
  • Casinos:
    • Post signs at all entrances instructing customers to wear a face covering when inside.
    • Designate entry points and exit points with extensive signage of the directional flow of patrons.
    • Place signs at each entrance point, cage and throughout the casino reminding patrons of CDC guidelines for social distancing, proper washing of hands, wearing face coverings, and to stay home if feeling sick or ill.
    • Conduct a daily screening protocol for customers or any individuals entering the facility, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19, together with a temperature screening.
    • Require patrons to wear a face covering at all times, except when eating or drinking or for identification purposes.
Proposed Rule 10:
  • Employers must:
    • Provide training to employees on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
    • Provide any communication and training on COVID-19 infection control practices in the primary languages common in the employee population.
    • Provide training that covers:
      • Workplace infection-control practices.
      • The proper use of PPE.
      • Steps the employees must take to notify the business of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
      • How to report unsafe working conditions.
    • Provide updated training if it changes its preparedness and response plan or new information becomes available about the transmission or diagnosis of COVID-19.
Proposed Rule 11:
  • Employers must maintain a record of the following requirements:
    • All COVID-19 employee training.
    • Health screening records for each employee or contractor entering the workplace.
    • Notifications sent to coworkers, contractors, or suppliers whom ay have come into contact with an employee, visitor, or customer with a known case of COVID-19.
    • Records must be maintained for six months from time of generation.
Proposed Rule 12:
  • Within 21 days of the expiration or rescission of any remaining emergency order issued for COVID-19 (under section 2253 of the public health code, 1978 PA 268, MCL 333.2253) and the absence, expiration, or recession of the declaration of a state of emergency issued related to COVID-19 by the governor (under section 3(4) of the emergency management act, 1976 PA 390, MCL 30.403, or section 1(1) of 1945 PA 302, MCL 10.31), the department shall examine the continued need for these COVID-19 rules.