New Michigan program to provide COVID-19 resources to businesses

A new program for businesses to learn about COVID-19 safety guidelines is set to launch in Michigan.
Ambassadors will soon stop by businesses randomly to make sure the companies are doing everything needed
to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.
Public establishments will be the focus, which includes restaurants, bars, gyms, gas stations, convenience stores, retail stores and bowling alleys, said Sean Egan, Michigan COVID-19 workplace director.


“We just want to make sure that businesses understand what they need to be doing,” said Egan. “That includes ensuring that they have a preparedness and response plan in place, that they are requiring employees and customers to wear face coverings and that they are thinking through the things that they can do in their workplace to prevent COVID.”


A couple dozen ambassadors will take part in the program, which is hosted by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Dense and urban areas will receive more consultants than other areas.


A list of guidelines for specific industries
has been provided by the state, along with general workplace safety guidelines for COVID-19.
In a news release, Egan stated that Michigan’s businesses and workers are in need of support during the pandemic. The MIOSHA Ambassadors Program will be guiding businesses on any issues that they find. No citations or penalties will be issued during their visit.


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“Keep in mind that this is a consultation program, not an investigation,” said Egan. “The goal is to secure compliance through education, not to penalize employers. We would encourage them to take advantage of the opportunity.”
An assessment will be used by ambassadors to make sure that businesses are following Michigan’s executive orders, along with the state and federal guidelines.


“Collaboration is key in the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman in a news release. “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve heard from many employers and employees wanting to clarify regulations and determine how they apply to their specific workplace. This ambassador effort will bring that education and support directly to businesses across the state.”
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