MIOSHA eNews - September 2020


New Ambassador program launches for workplace safety guidelines

As an increasing number of Michigan workplaces resume in-person operations, businesses and workers need support to ensure safe operations. The Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) are launching the MIOSHA Ambassador program to support Michigan businesses to reopen safely amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The new MIOSHA Ambassador Program offers education and one-on-one guidance to help businesses understand regulations and Executive Orders on workplace safety. Ambassadors will not propose citations or issue penalties. They will work with businesses to improve conditions and correct issues. Education is essential with new guidance and directives regularly changing as we continue to battle with COVID-19.

Ambassadors will visit businesses statewide to offer education and support, with a focus on workplaces with a higher risk of community transmission. That includes bars, restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, convenience stores, bowling alleys and gyms. 

Employers must operate in compliance with the current Executive Orders and state and federal guidelines. Ambassadors will work with business owners and managers to best implement safety directives to help ensure a safe workplace for employees and customers. Ambassadors will utilize the MIOSHA Ambassador Assessment to evaluate safety precautions. 

In addition, Ambassadors will provide an education toolkit to businesses. The toolkit can help you proactively review current workplace safety and health procedures to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The toolkit includes:

Please utilize the above resources to get started now and look for more information on COVID-19 workplace safety at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety

Read the full press release.

Silica - State Emphasis Program (SEP)

On August 24, 2020, MIOSHA issued an agency instruction on silica. This instruction establishes a state emphasis program (SEP) to reduce employee exposures to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) and prevent silicosis. Click here to read the full instruction. Stay tuned for more silica outreach information.

Respiratory Protection Week 2020

Respiratory protection week will take place from Sept. 8-11, 2020. As part of this observance, please join NIOSH for this webinar: 

How to spot a counterfeit! Understanding the Misrepresentation of NIOSH Approval

Join NIOSH on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020 at 12:00 p.m., to learn about how to identify NIOSH-approved respirators and signs for spotting counterfeit respirators.

Counterfeit respirators are products that are falsely marketed and sold as being NIOSH approved and may not be capable of providing appropriate respiratory protection to workers. In this webinar, we will look at how to identify a NIOSH-approved respirator as well as signs that a respirator might be a counterfeit. We will also discuss some of the respirator counterfeit issues we have observed over the last several months.

For more information, see the Respiratory Protection Week webpage.

National Safety Stand-Down To Prevent Falls in Construction Sept. 14-18, 2020

Stop Falls. Save Lives.

The 7th annual event will be held during the week of September 14-18, 2020. This event was originally scheduled during the week of May 4-8, 2020, but due to COVID-19, the stand-down was postponed.

Employers are encouraged to hold stand-down events with the proper precautions implemented. There are various ways to prepare for a successful stand-down and here are some suggestions. Due to COVID-19, we encourage employers to hold several smaller events that are socially distanced, where workers are wearing the appropriate PPE and/or face coverings and keep other necessary precautions in place. Providing the message to workers about the hazards associated with falls is important. This message is important not only to each individual worker, but also their family and friends.  

MIOSHA urges all employers to continually evaluate worksites to reduce fall exposures and provide alternate means for employees to perform tasks. Some job assignments may not be able to be performed without an employee having to use fall protection and/or equipment to perform the task(s). In these scenarios, Plan. Provide. Train.

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely.

PROVIDE the right equipment.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely.

Since 2017, MIOSHA has had a State Emphasis Program on Fall Prevention, commonly referred to as the Stop Falls. Save Lives. campaign. Both general and construction industries have experienced incidents involving falls that could have been prevented. As compliance officers are performing inspections, they continually look for fall protection issues and how the employer is protecting their employees in these scenarios.

National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction

MIOSHA plans on having a live Q&A virtual session during the week of the National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in the Construction Industry. A message will be sent out via the GovDelivery MIOSHA email service with the details shortly. If you are not signed up to receive MIOSHA emails, you can do so here

Resources about fall protection can be found on the MIOSHA Stop Falls. Save Lives webpage. MIOSHA's Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division has several resources that can be used to assist with your needs for health and safety. Please visit the CET webpage.

Federal OSHA has several resources available at their website for the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction: osha.gov/StopFallsStandDown/

Construction Safety and Health Division Case Study

On April 23, 2016, a roofing company was working on a new residential home that was under construction. The owner of the company was working on the project and was installing roofing ice barrier membrane (ice and water shield/guard) on a turret. This task was being performed by the owner and another employee. The rough terrain fork truck was stationed on unlevel ground when the work began. The employee was elevating the owner on a pallet slid onto the forks. During the work activity the rough terrain fork truck began to tip, shifting the pallet. The owner fell from the pallet platform to the ground and emergency services were called. The owner did not survive the injuries sustained.

For MIOSHA purposes, an owner is treated as an employee of the business operation when performing the type of work an employee would otherwise be required to perform.

Rough Terrain Fork Truck

Rules Cited:
Construction Safety and Health Standards:

Part 1. General Rules

  • Rule 114. (1) An employer shall develop, maintain, and coordinate with employees an accident prevention program, a copy of which shall be available at the worksite

Part 12. Scaffold and Scaffold Platforms

  • Rule 1243. (3) The work platform shall be level when in use.
  • Rule 1243. (4) If an employee is elevated in a platform on a variable reach lift truck, a personal fall arrest system, including the anchorage required in Construction Safety Standard Part 45. “Fall Protection,” and Construction Safety and Health Standard Part 6. “Personal Protective Equipment,” as referenced in R 408.41201, is required and shall be worn when an employee is elevated.
  • Rule 1243. (5) The rough terrain fork truck or the lift truck shall rest on firm footing. Leveling devices and outriggers shall be used where provided on equipment
  • Rule 1243. (14) A wood pallet shall not be used as a platform for lift truck scaffolds.
  • Rule 1245. An employer shall ensure that an employee has been trained before the employee’s assignment as an operator of a rough terrain forklift truck that is used to elevate employees. An employee shall be trained in all of the following areas: (a) The capabilities of the equipment and its attachments. (b) The purpose, use, and limitations of the controls. (c) How to make daily checks.         
Construction Case Study Photo

Administrative Standard:
Part 11. Recording and Reporting of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

  • Rule 1139. (1) Fatalities. Within 8 hours after the death of any employee from a work-related incident, you must report the fatality by telephone to the MIOSHA toll-free central telephone number: 1-800-858-0397.

Take A Stand Day 2020 Recap

Take A Stand Day 2020-2

Several construction companies across the State of Michigan participated in the 16th Annual MIOSHA Take a Stand Day (TASD) on August 12, 2020. Due to COVID-19, MIOSHA limited the amount of TASD requests for general industry.

If you are unfamiliar with TASD, this is a once a year event where consultative and enforcement MIOSHA representatives go to jobsites without fear of citations or fines for the participating workplaces. However, participants must agree to correct all serious conditions. 

To spotlight one company’s efforts, First Companies participated in TASD with our MIOSHA Construction Safety and Health Division at one of their jobsites in Grand Rapids. "Every chance we have to partner with MIOSHA onsite is an opportunity to strengthen the safety of our work culture and the construction community. I received positive feedback from everyone that participated today," said Chris Smith, Safety Director at First Companies. 

The services provided during TASD are offered year-round by our Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division. If you are interested in having MIOSHA consultative services work with your company, please fill out a Request for Consultative Assistance (RCA) with the MIOSHA CET Division. To see what services are provided, please visit the MIOSHA CET webpage to see what services may benefit your company.

MIOSHA seeks to work collaboratively with employers. MIOSHA has set several strategic goals to reduce workplace injuries/illnesses across Michigan, including promoting safety and health programs.

A big thank you to all companies that participated in this year’s Take A Stand Day!

Take A Stand Day 2020
Section divider - orange (skinny)

Michigan Worker Deaths of 2020

To date, there have been 17 work-related fatalities reported to MIOSHA in 2020. The information below shares preliminary details about the most recent fatalities reported to MIOSHA which are believed to be covered by the MIOSH Act. The description reflects information provided to MIOSHA at the initial report of the incident and is not the result of the official MIOSHA investigation. To report fatalities/catastrophes, call MIOSHA at 800-858-0397.

Preliminary summaries of the most recent incidents:
On March 16, a 51-year-old bus driver was transporting the general public on a regular bus route while symptomatic. He called in sick the following day and never returned to the workplace. The bus driver was admitted to the hospital on March 22, tested positive for COVID-19 on March 28, 2020, and died the same day.

On March 16, a 77-year-old custodian was asymptomatic for COVID-19, his last day of work. On March 27, the custodian tested positive for the Coronavirus and was immediately hospitalized and placed on a ventilator. He passed away at the hospital on May 3, 2020.

On March 19, a 64-year-old patient services associate who was responsible for check-in/check-out of patients as they arrived for their scheduled appointments, left work feeling ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. She never returned to work and passed away on March 29, 2020. The death certificate lists the manner of death as natural due to COVID-19.

On August 19, at approximately 9:00 a.m., a 56-year-old laborer was installing underground utilities when the excavation collapsed. 

There were 37 MIOSHA-covered deaths in 2019. 2009 saw the lowest number with 24. Every life is precious. Our mutual goal must be that every employee goes home at the end of every shift unharmed.

If you need help or assistance in ensuring your workplace is safe, MIOSHA is here to help. The CET Division provides workplace safety and health training and consultations to employers and employees throughout Michigan, free of charge. Contact CET today at 800-866-4674 or request CET services online.

Agency Instructions Issued

August 24, 2020 - Silica - State Emphasis Program (SEP)

July 30, 2020 - Recording and Reporting of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses


September 8, 2020 Ambassador Program Launches to Educate Michigan Businesses on Workplace Safety Guidelines

August 21, 2020 - State Issues COVID-19 Citations for Workplace Safety Violations, Urges Businesses to Protect Employees

August 7, 2020 - State launches college town COVID-19 Workplace Safety Program


Variances from MIOSHA standards must be made available to the public in accordance with Part 12, Variances (R408.22201 to 408.22251). MIOSHA variances are published online at michigan.gov/mioshavariances.

Quick Links 

Agency/Division Instructions/Memorandums
Air Contaminants Initiative
Asbestos Program
CET Request for Consultative Assistance Services (RCA)
CET Training Calendar
Construction Safety and Health Division (CSHD)
DVD/Video Library Service
Employee Safety, Health, and Discrimination Complaint Forms
Fall Prevention Campaign (STOP FALLS. SAVE LIVES.)
General Industry Safety and Health Division (GISHD)
Hazard Communication/GHS
Laboratory and Equipment Services
Michigan Alliances
Michigan Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MSHARP)
Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP)
MIOSHA Publications
MIOSHA Recordkeeping
MIOSHA Standards
MIOSHA Training Institute (MTI)
MIOSHA Updates
MIOSHA Variances
Radiation Safety Section
Residential Construction
Strategic Plan and Initiatives
Telephone, Mailing and Email Addresses