The State of Michigan is sending out virus control enforcers. It’s happening under what the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or MIOSHA, is calling a “State Emphasis Program”. The emphasis deals with whether businesses across the state are complying with the Governor’s orders to enforce her latest rules about wearing masks and other virus control and shutdown orders. Department Director Jeff Donofrio says the idea is to help make sure business owners are doing enough to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus and its impact on their business and the state’s economy. Targeted businesses for enforcer visits include retail, restaurant, bars, gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores.  In general, businesses that are open to the public to visit.

MIOSHA inspectors according to a department media release will make visits by referral. The media outlet Michigan Capitol Confidential says that’s a fancy name for a complaint from a snitch. The department release says inspectors will be reviewing business operations in order to help employers comply with safety standards. But it goes on to say, quoting now, “…if the inspections determine major deficiencies in the employer’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plans, citations and penalties up to $7,000 may be issued.” Under clear direction from Democratic Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, MIOSHA is not planning a soft hand approach.  The department is reminding businesses that the COVID-19 virus outbreak is considered extremely serious and all recommended measures must be in place in order to satisfactorily pass a MIOSHA virus inspection.

Some of the items the state is reminding business owners they must abide by include:
-Conducting daily health screenings of employees and contractors,
-Requiring employees and customers wear face coverings properly,|
-Considering changes to indoor ventilation to reduce transmission risk,
-Implementing enhanced cleaning protocols when employees or the public become sick,
-Posting required signs and notifying customers of their obligation to wear face coverings if medically tolerated, and not entering if they feel sick,
-Maintaining compliance with social distancing and capacity limits of the establishment, and,
-Ensuring that they have and use a preparedness and response plan.

MIOSHA says business owners and managers only need to ask the Department for help and guidance if they are unsure whether they meet the minimum standards in order to avoid enforcement actions and fines.

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