State officials have announced a program to boost pandemic safety awareness as well as potentially take enforcement action over noncompliance within the service industry.
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) on Monday announced a new State Emphasis Program covering retail businesses, restaurants, bars, convenience stores and other service industry establishments.
Officials say the focus is to “educate and seek compliance with guidelines and rules” that will protect communities against the spread of COVID-19. MIOSHA will also conduct referral-based and random inspections to ensure compliance, which could involve citations and penalties up to $7,000.
“The vast majority of employers are working hard to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on their business and the economy,” Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Development Director Jeff Donofrio said in a statement. “This new initiative is aimed at helping them educate employees and customers on best practices and assure that all workplaces remain safe for the community.”
MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman said agency staffers will evaluate an establishment’s compliance with existing state standards, executive orders and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
These include conducting daily health screenings of employees and contractors, requiring employees to wear face coverings and enhanced cleaning protocols. The state has compiled COVID-19 safety guidelines by industry.
“Employers need to put certain safeguards in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety and health of their employees,” Pickelman said.