If you’re one of those people who still go to work every day, you might be wondering, “When will I be able to stop filling out this daily health assessment form?  Will we get to a point where we don’t have to wipe everything down all the time?   Will we have to keep buying masks, hand sanitizer, and wipes?   When will we get to stop living in fear that the state will fine our business for not following their COVID-19 Workplace plan to a T?”

We have the answer:  Never!   If the Whitmer administration has its way, all of these COVID-19 Workplace edicts will be made permanent.  

That includes the time that it takes to formulate a plan, document it, train people, and categorize the various risk groups.  It includes wearing masks in the workplace, buying screening equipment, constant reporting to the authorities, and keeping records on site.   And that’s just some of it.

After the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in October 2020 that Gov. Whitmer did not have the authority to continue issuing executive orders by declaring a state of emergency, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) used its ability to put in place COVID-19 emergency workplace safety rules.   The rules are set to expire on Oct. 14. In March, the agency quietly submitted a proposal to make their emergency COVID-19 pandemic workplace rules permanent.

State Sen. John Bizon, M.D. says enough is enough.   Sen Bizon is looking for your input regarding the governor’s MIOSHA workplace rules.

“This is a clear case of government overreach on the part of the Whitmer administration,” said Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “It is absurd to think that once the coronavirus pandemic is behind us and the threat is gone, we should continue to follow rules put in place in response to the crisis. I hope people make their voices heard to put an end to this nonsense.”

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To weigh in on the issue, Sen. Bizon said a website has been set up.  You can also read about the proposed permanent workplace rules.   The feedback you provide 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.

A message on the page says, “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 that managed to survive. Michigan workers and job providers deserve better.”

As part of the rule-making process, any department rule changes are subject to a public comment period and a public hearing.   Comments on the proposed rules can be made during the public hearing or can be submitted in advance by mail or email.   A virtual hearing on the MIOSHA rules is scheduled for May 26 at 9 a.m.

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Bizon said making these temporary workplace rules permanent even after the virus is gone will be a tremendous burden for those businesses that managed to survive over the past year.

“It has been a tremendously difficult year for all of us — including job providers and businesses that had to close or lay off employees due to the governor’s handling of the pandemic,” Bizon said. “If these rules were to become permanent, I can’t imagine the further heartache this would cause or the disaster this would mean for thousands of businesses that might be forced to shut down.”

To respond to the survey, click here. 

Residents can also contact Bizon’s office at 517-373-2426 or by email at SenJBizon@senate.michigan.gov.

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