Workplace Safety Ambassadors Or State Virus Enforcers?
Two state departments are taking the wraps off what they are describing as an Ambassador program. They say the intent is to assist Michigan business owners and managers understand and follow COVID-19 virus-related workplace safety regulations. Michigan’s COVID-19 Workplace Director is Sean Egan. He says education is essential since new directives are coming out on a regular basis and there can be some confusion. Egan says the new Ambassador program will help businesses statewide with one-on-one guidance to make sure they know what to do and how. A media release from the state outlining the program indicates, “Ambassadors will visit businesses statewide to offer education and support, with a focus on workplaces with a higher risk of community transmission. That includes bars, restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, convenience stores, bowling alleys and gyms. Ambassadors will not propose citations or issue penalties.”
When asked for some clarifying information, a state media contact confirms the Ambassadors are Occupational Safety and Health Administration Department employees, not other business people well versed in the regs. And some might think an Ambassador would be arriving at a business based on an invitation, or request for guidance and assistance. But it is also confirmed by the state that the department employees will be conducting visits unannounced. What is not yet clear is whether those visits are the result of employee complaints about workplace conditions relating to COVID-19 virus controls and restrictions.