Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-77 on Thursday, May 7, 2020, updating the current stay at home” order by adding certain provisions for in-person work activities and adding certain Employee groups which can return to work. The Governor’s EO 2020-70, issued on May 1, 2020, added construction and real estate activities to the list of industries that may be resumed for in-person activities, under certain lengthy conditions. EO 2020-77 added manufacturing to that list, including Employees necessary to perform the “start-up” activities for manufacturing, as of May 11, 2020. Workers necessary to train, credential, and license first responders and health care workers, and workers needed to support the supply chain and distributions of businesses that are in operation, were also added in EO 2020-77.
REQUIREMENTS OF ALL BUSINESSES
EO 2020-77 contains a list of required “workplace safeguards” for in-person businesses.. Paragraph 11 of EO 2020-77 contains such safeguards that apply to all businesses or operations (including government entities), which include:
* development of a COVID-19 “preparedness and response plan” for workplaces that is consistent with OSHA guidance that is attached. This plan must be available at the worksite.
* maintenance of common safeguards such as six feet social distancing, including those recommended by the Center for Disease Control, and promotion of remote work to the fullest extent possible.
* required wearing of masks when workers cannot maintain consistent six feet social distancing.
* increased standards of cleaning and disinfecting, and adopting cleaning / disinfecting protocols in the event of a positive COVID-19 case.
* preventing of workers from entering the workplace with “respiratory symptoms” or who have had contact with a person with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
For operations in lawn care, pest control, moving / storage, or traditional outdoor operations (i.e., forestry, power equipment technicians, parking enforcement, or outdoor recreation), the EO 2020-77 specifies the following requirements:
* Gatherings where six feet social distancing cannot be maintained.
* Personal protective equipment (gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks “as appropriate”) must be provided.
* Adoption of protocols to limit tool sharing, and to ensure frequent and thorough disinfecting of tools, equipment and high-tough surfaces.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
For the construction industry, these requirements are maintained (with some tweaks to EO 2020-70):
* Naming a site-specific supervisor, on site at all times, to monitor compliance with COVID-19 control strategies.
* Have daily entry screening protocols for all persons entering the site, including temperature screening and a questionnaire asking about symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to COVID-19 positive persons. Screening at a dedicated entry point.
* Have instructions for PPE distribution, and a location for soiled masks.
* Encourage or require the use of works gloves “as appropriate”.
* Control worker access to areas where workers stand close to each other (i.e., hallways).
* Ensure adequate hand washing/sanitizing stations.
* Subcontractors notify contractors, and contractors notify owners of COVID-19 positive case.
* Restrict unnecessary movement between job sites.
* Create protocols for minimizing personal contact with delivery of materials to worksite.
REQUIREMENTS FOR MANUFACTURING FACILITIES
Manufacturing facilities have the following requirements added:
* Daily screening and point of entry protocols of the construction industry.
* Suspension of non-essential in-person activities, including tours.
* Training workers on how the coronavirus is transmitted, the distance the virus can travel airborne, the symptoms of COVID-19, how workers notify the business of symptoms or a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, steps the facility is taking to avoid worker exposure, rules the workers must follow to prevent exposure, and the proper use and donning-doffing of PPE.
* Social distancing protocols (i.e., closing salad bars / buffets in cafeterias and requiring workers to six feet from each other), and physical barriers between work stations and cafeteria tables.
* Implement rotational shifts, and staggered start and meal times, to reduce workers in the facility at the same time.
* Adopt protocols for tool / equipment sharing, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas and tools/parts/equipment.
* Ensure adequate hand washing/sanitizing stations, and “discontinue use of hand dryers”.
* Notification of plant leaders of COVID-19 positive case.
* Maintain a central log for symptomatic workers or workers who have a positive test.
* Sending “potentially exposed individuals” home upon identification of positive COVID-19 case.
* Encourage workers to self-report to plant leaders ASAP upon developing COVID-19 symptoms.
* Shut down plant areas for cleaning / disinfecting if worker is sent home for displaying COVID symptoms.
GENERAL FACE COVERING REQUIREMENTS
The EO 2020-77 also maintains face covering requirements from EO 2020-70, with some tweaks:
* Persons who can “medically tolerate” a mouth and nose covering (i.e., mask, scarf) must wear one in an enclosed public space, only to be removed upon entering the space for identification purposes.
* All businesses and operations must provide “non-medical grade” face coverings for workers.
* N95 respirators should be reserved for health care professionals and first responders and other critical workers who interact with the public.
* Civil rights protections under law apply to workers who wear face coverings.
This lengthy Executive Order contains very specific protections for Employees who have been working, and who will start working as of this coming week. It is recommended that workers become familiar with such, for their protection.
If you have any questions regarding your rights as an employee considering the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact our law firm at our office for a free consultation.