State officials focus on service industry to reduce spread of COVID-19

Michigan News

Illustration by Peter Hamlin.;

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – State officials launched a new program that focuses on the service industry to help protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration launched a State Emphasis Program to increase partnerships, education, and enforcement to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Service industry establishments including retail, restaurant, bar, gas stations, convenience and grocery stores will receive further education to help protect workers and customers stay safe.

“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. 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,” Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio said.

Officials will also conduct random or referral based inspections to review how rules are being followed and help employers comply with safety standards. If major issues are discovered during an inspection then citations and penalties up to $7,000 may be issued.

“Employers need to put certain safeguards in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety and health of their employees,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman.

Employers or employees with workplace safety or health questions can use the new MIOSHA hotline at (855) SAFE – C19 or (855) 723 – 3219.

Free statewide assistance is available to help employers develop and implement long-term safety as well as health programs. Companies can call the MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training Division at (517) 284 – 7720 or toll-free at (800) 866 – 4674.

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