MIOSHA eNews - January 5, 2021


COVID-19 Workplace Safety Update

Be the next business to schedule a free COVID-19 safety consultation and earn a "Proud Participant of the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Ambassador Program" window decal as a part of the new MIOSHA Ambassador program partnership with NSF International and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA).

In addition to tier-one education which provides a brief consultation, businesses can now visit the COVID-19 workplace safety website to schedule tier-two consultations, an in-depth assessment of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements, with NSF International. These collaborative meetings will connect employers directly with a NSF International Ambassador to identify and implement solutions in their specific workplace free of charge to the business.

Tier-two visits with NSF International are targeted to retail stores, restaurants and gyms. Employers outside of these industries can schedule a tier-two visit with a MIOSHA Ambassador through the Consultation, Education and Training (CET) Division via phone 800-866-4674 or request CET services online

Businesses that successfully complete tier-two visits will receive the official signage below to acknowledge COVID-19 workplace safety commitments and efforts to keep employees and customers safe.

COVID-19 Workplace Safety Ambassador Program

Learn more and schedule your Ambassador visit at Michigan.Gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety.

Upcoming workplace safety webinar

Mark your calendars for the next live question and answer webinar featuring the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. 

Dashing Through The Snow...

By Brian Kellogg, CET Senior Occupational Safety Consultant

We’re all adjusting to “new-normals” going on in our lives. Think about this, you’re out picking up a meal to-go from your favorite diner when you see a restaurant employee suddenly run out and an on-coming vehicle quickly slams on the brakes to avoid hitting the hard-working runner. If you are like me, you have probably seen this a couple of times. Did you say something to the runner? How about the establishment’s management? Is this part of the “new-normal” that you want to see stick around? 

Unfortunately, this scenario is nothing new and it has been going on for as long as there have been vehicles and curbside pick-up. With the global pandemic, it just might be making it more obvious. In the ten years that I have been working with MIOSHA, I have been pleased with the general increase I see in restaurant employees wearing high-visibility apparel when they are doing things outside the restaurant. Tasks like taking out refuse or sweeping the parking lots. This is great because at least something is being done to make the employees stand out a little bit more to vehicles who may be moving in parking lots and drive-thru lanes blissfully unaware that employees are outside of the restaurant.

Wearing high visibility apparel is just one of many things that an employer and employees can do to help make themselves more observable to vehicles on the premises. Commonly, you will see on work sites, Performance Class 2 apparel during the day, and Performance Class 3 at night or in other low-light conditions. But in the restaurant business, anything will help, including Performance Class 1. Is this the only thing you should consider? No, and honestly, high visibility apparel only helps if a driver is paying attention and is looking up … instead of down wondering if the extra packets of sauce are with the order that was just delivered.

Other actions that can be taken are:

  • Ensuring existing exterior lights are functioning and turned on when daylight is limited.
  • Redirecting vehicle traffic so that it is organized and minimizes the need for employees to be out in lanes of traffic.
  • Keeping vehicles at a pick-up window until their order is filled.
  • Reminding employees that there are vehicles out there, and the drivers are not necessarily focused on them.

Is that the only hazard that I need to watch out for? NO! This is Michigan and guess what season it is? WINTER! With that, it means that snow and ice will soon be everywhere, and this will cause additional hazards to anyone outside the restaurant, especially anyone running around to quickly fulfill an order. Surface conditions are going to play a big part. Uneven surfaces, large gaps or cracks in expansion joints, slippery surfaces, and the occasional occurrence of another Michigan nemesis - potholes - can wreak havoc on employees who are solely focused on making a quick delivery!

The key to reducing or eliminating undesirable outcomes is to recognize where the issues may be. Once you have identified your hazards, now you can start strategizing your best options for the hopeful elimination of the hazard or reduction of the hazard. Remember, it is hard to control other drivers, so focus on solutions that do not rely on better drivers paying more attention.

Definitions for Performance Classes
Class 1 - offers the minimum amount of high-visibility materials to differentiate the wearer visually from non-complex work environments and is only appropriate for off-road environments.
Class 2 - have additional amounts of high-visibility materials that allow for better definition of the human form.
Class 3 - provides more visibility to the wearer in both complex backgrounds and through a full range of movement by the required placement of background, retroreflective and combined performance materials.

Restaurant Worker Handing Out To-Go Food

Michigan Industrial Ventilation Conference Update

Industrial Ventilation Conference image

For 70 years, MIOSHA has administered the oldest conference in North America teaching thousands of attendees how to design industrial ventilation systems both efficiently and economically. The Michigan Industrial Ventilation Conference (MIVC) has been held each year in February at the campus of Michigan State University (MSU). This was to have been its 70th conference.

Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic and our concern for the health of our participants and instructors, as well as logistical issues, the MIVC will not be held this year; instead, it will return to MSU again in 2022. In lieu of holding the MIVC this year, the conference will instead host a series of seven, one-hour webinars between March and May in 2021 which address principles fundamental to the design of industrial ventilation systems. We encourage you to check the MIVC website for more details regarding these seminars, and hope that you will seek out the MIVC to meet your industrial ventilation educational needs again in 2022.

The MIVC wishes you all good health and success in 2021!

Injury and Illness Reporting Reminder

Recordkeeping Log 300

Mar. 2, 2021, is the deadline for electronically reporting OSHA Form 300A data for calendar year 2020. Data collection began on Jan. 2, 2021.

The collection of CY 2019 data and beyond includes the establishments' Employer Identification Numbers (EIN).

Not all establishments need to submit their OSHA 300A data. Visit OSHA’s website for more information on the reporting criteria.  

Need help understanding the reporting and recording requirement? There is still time to register for the two upcoming “MIOSHA Recordkeeping and Cost of Injuries” virtual courses on Jan. 12 and on Jan. 13. Visit our MIOSHA Training Institute (MTI) calendar for course/registration information. 

Michigan Worker Deaths of 2020

To date, there have been 55 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:
A 72-year-old staff forester stopped at a contractor’s garage to drop off a map. Nobody was at the garage, so he left the map on the driver seat of the contractor’s vehicle. Another contractor found the victim sometime later pinned between both vehicles. The contractor saw that the victim’s vehicle was running, so they put it in park, removed the victim, and called 911.

The employee was a 55-year-old program manager in a residential home for adult foster care. She was transported from home to the hospital on April 12, with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. She passed away in the hospital on April 16, 2020, due to COVID-19 pneumonia.

The deceased was a 59-year-old mental health professional who provided services for inmates in a correctional facility. Her last day at work was Nov. 19 and she developed COVID-19 symptoms on Nov. 20. She was later admitted to the hospital and passed away on Dec. 15, 2020.

A 53-year-old general laborer was crawling up a discharge chute and fell down a vertical chute into a pulp press.

A 61-year-old hemodialysis assistant cleaned and serviced hemodialysis machines at a local hospital. The machines were used in all areas of the hospital, including COVID-19 floors. He contracted COVID-19 and spent a month in the hospital before passing away on April 30, 2020.

Four employees that worked the Nov. 3rd general election at City Hall tested positive for COVID-19. The 69-year-old City Manager tested positive on Nov. 13 and passed on Dec. 12, 2020, from symptoms consistent with that of COVID-19. 

A 41-year-old laborer was repairing a water main in an excavation when a portion of the wall broke away trapping the laborer and causing a pump to fail filling the excavation with water.

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 assist you. 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 Instruction Issued

Dec. 2, 2020 - Medical Services and First Aid for General Industry and Construction

Press Releases

Dec. 22, 2020 - Five businesses cited for COVID-19 Workplace Safety violations
Dec. 4, 2020
- State cites nine businesses, for COVID-19 Workplace Safety violations


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.

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