Ambassador Program Launches to Educate Michigan Businesses on Workplace Safety Guidelines

Ambassador Program Launches to Educate Michigan Businesses on Workplace Safety Guidelines

The Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) are launching a new program to support Michigan businesses to reopen safely amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The MIOSHA Ambassador Program offers education and one-on-one guidance to help businesses understand regulations on workplace safety.

“Michigan businesses and workers need support during these challenging times,” said Sean Egan, Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Director. “Education is essential with new guidance and directives regularly changing as we continue to battle with COVID-19. Ambassadors will work with businesses to correct any issues. We want to help employers understand and apply directives so they can comply, stay open and stay safe.”

MIOSHA has been working with Michigan employers to help comply with requirements of the Governor’s Executive Orders, CDC guidance and OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. This program enhances MIOSHA’s consultative services designed and focused on education. Guidance and resources are posted at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety.

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. Ambassadors will not propose citations or issue penalties.

“Collaboration is key in the effort to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “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.”

As Michigan continues to reopen the economy, 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 Ambassador Assessment to evaluate safety precautions are put in place and will provide a toolkit of resources for additional ongoing support.

Educational materials in the Ambassador toolkit can be found at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety and include:

“Ensuring the business community creates safe workplaces is key to slow the spread of the virus and protect our workers,” said Steve Claywell, President of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. “Michigan can only continue to reopen and keep people working if we all act responsibly. If we all do our part, we can maintain the progress we’ve made against the virus as more Michiganders get back to work.”

“Helping the business community to create safe workplaces has been key to limiting the spread of the virus,” said Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy Executive Chairman and Co-Chair of the Michigan Economic Recovery Council. “Michigan’s ability to reopen the remaining portions of our economy depends on all of us remaining disciplined and doing our part – both at work and at home.”

“Support for people and businesses during this time is critical,” said Doug Rothwell, President and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan. “We have to be vigilant and work together to support a strong economy and limit the spread of the virus. But it all starts with education. Business owners want to do their part, but they need to know exactly what is required of them.”

“Business owners face a fluid set of complex issues regarding COVID-19 that require support to navigate,” said Brian Calley, President of Small Business Association of Michigan. “As guidance from the state continues to evolve, with different rules governing various regions and industries, business owners need to know exactly what they mean and how to apply them. Ongoing education is necessary to keep the economy moving.”

Additional information to ensure safe and healthy working conditions can also be found online at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety.

Information around COVID-19 is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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SOS offers extended hours for residents needing to renew licenses

From Aug. 24, through Sept. 30, all Secretary of State branch offices will extend hours until 7 p.m. to offer special appointments for residents to renew driver’s licenses or state ID cards that expire between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, 2020, and require a branch visit. Customers with driver’s licenses or state ID cards that meet that criteria can schedule an appointment between 4 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday from Aug. 24 through Sept. 30, 2020. To make an appointment, visit Michigan.gov/SOSAppointments or call 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).

 

Secretary of State to offer special appointments, extended hours for customers needing to renew licenses, IDs in person by Sept. 30

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced branch offices would offer special appointments and extended hours for Michigan residents to renew driver’s licenses or state ID cards that expire between Jan. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2020.

Beginning August 24, customers can make appointments for between 4 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday running from Aug. 24 through Sept. 30. To make an appointment, visit Michigan.gov/SOSAppointments or call 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424).

“These special appointments are another tool helping us to ensure continued service to Michigan residents during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Benson said. “Since June 1, when our branches reopened for appointments, we’ve completed more than 3 million transactions at branches, online, through self-service stations and by mail to serve the people of Michigan.”

These special appointments are specifically for renewing a Michigan driver’s license or state ID that expires between Jan. 1, 2020, and Sept. 30,2020, and must be renewed in person. Appointments made for license or ID renewals that do not require an in-person visit will be canceled and will need to be rescheduled. Many driver’s licenses and IDs can be renewed online at ExpressSOS.com or by mail.

These appointments can’t be used for any other type of transaction, and, like all appointments, aren’t transferable to another customer. Appointments for other limited types of transactions can continue to be made using the advance and same-day appointment categories available through the online appointment system.
Most vehicle renewals can be conducted online, by mail, or at one of the more than 120 self-service stations across the state. Those vehicle renewals which were previously extended or expire on Sept. 30 must be conducted via one of those methods.

The state previously had extended the renewal dates to Sept. 30 for driver’s licenses, IDs and vehicle registrations expiring after March 1.
 

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Grieving Our Pre-Coronavirus Routines

It started with denial.

As cases of COVID-19 started to rise earlier this year, participants in Pam Roose’s online diabetes prevention class figured there wasn’t much to worry about and that things would get back to normal soon enough.

When two weeks led to four, she noticed that attitudes and behaviors started to change. Participants had worked so hard to make healthy changes such as buying healthier foods, getting more physical activity and using support systems to keep them on the healthy lifestyle journey they’d started. But, with limited access to healthy foods, gyms closed and the inability to access their support systems in person, their motivation seemed to fade, replaced by anger, mixed with depression.

“It hit, that this is what’s really happening, and some people got angry and some scared,” Roose said. As a registered dietitian, Roose teaches virtual classes out of her Marquette County home.

Some of her students stopped attending class, while many embraced the opportunity to have an online network of support. Those who stayed, drew on each other for emotional and physical support and learned new coping techniques. When a new class recently started, participants were looking for help to move forward, even asking for ways to build a healthy diet reliant on sustainable foods. They were accepting that life could be different for the foreseeable future and finding new ways to support their healthy lifestyle journey.

GRIEVING A WAY OF LIFE AND FAMILIAR ROUTINES

Throughout the pandemic, many people have felt a sense of loss. Some are grieving loved ones, while many more, including Roose’s students, are grieving aspects of their former way of life.

Stay-at-home orders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 radically altered routines and the important ways people structure their lives and form their sense of identity. The ways we exercise, shop and gather all look very different. Big life events such as graduations and weddings had to be canceled, postponed or reimagined. Many lost jobs or faced isolation working from home.

These upheavals to routine are hard to adapt to. Mental health experts say the feelings associated with adjusting are a type of grief. Unlike grieving a death, however, the loss of routine and predictability isn’t over, it’s ongoing for the foreseeable future. Still, it’s important to find constructive ways to move forward.

Not dealing with your emotions can lead to runaway stress and anxiety, which has negative consequences for your mental health. Left unchecked, it can also cause dire physical harm. During the pandemic, cardiologists have found a four-to-five fold increase in Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome, typically brought on by extreme physical or emotional distress.

HOW TO MOVE FORWARD IN HEALTHY WAYS

So, how do you appropriately grieve the life you had before COVID-19?

According to the American Psychological Association, identifying and naming what you’ve lost is a good place to start. Maybe you’ve just felt “off” and weren’t quite sure why. Taking stock of the ways your life is different now and figuring out which of those differences make you mad, sad, scared or frustrated can help you figure out how to address those feelings or put action steps in place that can help you feel more in control.

Grieving routines you miss is normal and valid. Roose, who is also a certified intrinsic coach, yoga and Tai Chi teacher, said she’s talking with her students about the people in their lives they can turn to for support and finding ways to connect. “Social distancing doesn’t mean disconnecting socially,” she explained.

While feeling down about restrictions and change is normal, it’s important to be aware of prolonged emotions you feel you can’t get a handle on. Talking to your primary care doctor or a mental health professional about what you’re experiencing can help you determine if further treatment might be needed.

IF YOU’RE IN CRISIS, THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE IS AVAILABLE 24/7 AT 1-800-273-8255.

These resources are also available:

  • If you’re a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or Blue Care Network member, many mental health services are covered through your plan.
  • Blue Cross is also offering a free crisis hotline for emotional support for members and non-members at 833-848-1764.
  • Weekly Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being member webinars explore helpful topics such as mindfulness, healthy eating, exercise and more.
  • The state of Michigan and Headspace are also offering “Stay Home, Stay Mindful”, a website with free mental health resources.

Related:

This article was originally published on www.ahealthiermichigan.org, a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Blue Cross and MADA are your trusted partners in building a healthier business and workforce.

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MIOSHA Answers Your Questions on Workplace Safety Compliance

MIOSHA’s COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director, Sean Egan, has hosted four Q&A webinars to answer questions from employers and employees about compliance with the governor’s executive orders on workplace safety.

While some of the answers are a bit vague because situations from one business to another will be different, this does help provide additional guidance. IMPORTANT NOTE: click the “show more” option to see a list of all the questions asked. This allows you to view questions and in most cases click the timestamp for the answer you want to hear. Links to the four webinars and just a few examples of questions are below. (There are many more questions and answers beyond what is sampled here.)

 

View July 16, 2020 webinar
  • 12:36 – What happens if a worker still tests positive after 2-1/2 weeks and the doctor tells them they are no longer contagious. Can they come back to work? The CDC says after 2 negative tests they can come back.
  • 14:08 – As long as I wear my mask into work. After my temp is taken and my questions answered is it safe to remove my mask once in my office with the door closed? When people enter or I leave the area I reapply the mask.
  • 25:56 – In an office environment, if an employee leaves the premise for an appt, should temp check and questionnaire be asked again?
View July 23, 2020 webinar
  • 20:52 – Is there a timeframe on how long you have to keep the health questionnaires on file?
  • 22:07 – A member of the public comes to our office to make a payment and does not go beyond our front lobby. Is this person required to have a face covering to come inside the lobby area? (Note: Front desk worker in the lobby area is shielded by Plexiglas.)
View July 31, 2020 webinar
  • Note: This week’s webinar is focused on bars and restaurants, but we are including in case you are interested.
View August 7, 2020 webinar
  • 13:00 – Are face masks required during in person meetings in offices if social distancing is in place.
  • 13:23 – If someone is closer than 6 feet but separated by a plexiglass barrier does the 6 ft rule apply?
  • 14:11 – Is there a template than can be provided to record employee’s answers to daily self screening questions?
  • 14:56 – What if an employee’s spouse tests positive, but is not symptomatic. What should we do before allowing him back to work?
  • 15:38 – Our front office is closed to the public, our staff cubicle walls go 3/4 to the ceiling and spacing of work areas are greater than 6 feet apart, some even 12 feet from anyone else. Do they need to wear masks at all times while sitting at their desk? As it is all in the same ‘room’?
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MADA welcomes new associate member, Bellavia Blatt, P.C.

Bellavia Blatt is a pioneer and leading dealer advocate for Retail Warranty Reimbursement, having successfully obtained hundreds of millions of dollars in retail warranty increases over the past 30 years for dealerships across the nation. The firm provides a unique expertise and understanding of Michigan’s warranty reimbursement statutes, so dealers can maximize their Retail Warranty Reimbursement. Due to the volume of work performed, the firm offers a low flat fee that is fair and competitive and is generally recouped within the first month of receiving reimbursement at retail.
For more information please visit dealerlaw.com. You may also contact Leonard Bellavia at (516) 873-3000 or email lbellavia@dealerlaw.com.
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Registration for NADA Show 2021 Now Open

Attendee registration and housing are now open for NADA Show 2021, the Automotive Industry Event of the year, returning to New Orleans, Jan. 21-24. This latest installment of the Show will be the most important yet during this new era of business for dealers.
Learn the latest strategies to navigate business disruptions from NADA Academy instructors, get legislative and regulatory updates from experts, share insights with top industry professionals, and shop the latest dealership tools and products at NADA Expo.

Registration is required to book a hotel – and the best hotel selections always fill up quickly so register soon to book your preferred hotel. Visit nadashow.org today to secure your registration and start planning for this year’s Show!
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MADA welcomes AmeriLabs24 as our newest associate member

We are pleased to inform dealers that AmeriLabs24 has joined MADA as our newest associate member.
With a Lansing-based laboratory, plus work-site and mobile collection testing options, AmeriLabs24 can quickly and conveniently assist dealers with various employee testing needs.
  • Drug testing for pre-employment, random testing, post-accident and DOT
  • Hazmat, Twic and TSA pre-check interviews
  • Background fingerprinting with Identogo
  • Collection site for blood work with Quest and Labcorp
Learn more at www.amerilabs24.com. You may also contact Paula Ervin, director of business operations at paulae@amerilabs24.com or (517) 215-7209.

Teen driver safety guide: Getting on the road

There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in an irreversible way, but we will begin to get back to “normal” and that includes getting back to school, back to work and back on the road. You have a big birthday coming up, the one that makes you eligible to start earning your driver’s license. But simply being old enough to get a license is no guarantee you are ready to earn one. Even when you do, there are going to be limits on what you can and can’t do behind the wheel. Some limits set by your parents and others that are a matter of law. Driving is of course a rite of passage for just about every American teen, but true maturity comes from following the rules of the road and appreciating their importance to driver and pedestrian safety.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Consider these statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): There were 3,255 Teen Drivers (15-19) involved in fatal crashes in 2017. Total teen deaths were 2,526 and 229 of those deaths were due to distracted driving.

The last thing most new drivers want to hear is another adult talking about responsibility. Most teens will struggle to hold back their eye-rolling and scoffing when exposed to all of the brochures, posters, videos and lectures about teen drivers. The reality is that adults, parents included, remember exactly what it was like to be your age. Be patient. Adult instructors have been where you are now; they are there to make sure you, and all those around you, are not endangered by your actions.

Check out the complete guide at Coverage.com.

Included in Guide

MIOSHA Workplace Safety and Health Review…Without Citations

MIOSHA’s “Take a Stand Day” offers an opportunity for employers to bolster their workplace safety and health by requesting a free consultative visit from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) with NO CITATIONS or PENALTIES. (However, employers must agree to correct all serious conditions.)
Across the state on August 12, 2020, MIOSHA is inviting employers to “Take a Stand” for workplace safety and health. For this 16th annual event, the MIOSHA program is dedicating more than 125 professional staff to visit Michigan industries targeted by the MIOSHA Strategic Plan. MIOSHA safety and health professionals, including compliance staff, outreach consultants, managers, and supervisors, will provide one-on-one consultations to address specific issues, such as:
  • Explain a specific MIOSHA rule.
  • Conduct a safety or health hazard survey.
  • Evaluate a safety and health management system.
  • Provide other requested technical assistance..
To schedule a visit complete a Request for Consultative Assistance (RCA) form electronically and submit to MIOSHA. (MIOSHA notes that the form works only when accessing it via Internet Explorer or FireFox browsers. It does not submit correctly via Google Chrome.)
The deadline to submit your request is July 24, 2020. You will be contacted two weeks prior to the date for scheduling. More information is available here.
August 12th not the most convenient day for your dealership? Not a problem! MIOSHA’s Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division also offers free safety and health assistance year-round. To learn more check out the CET web page. Also see: MIOSHA self-inspection checklist

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Expiration of BFS-4s, Driver’s Licenses, Vehicle Registrations Extended Through Sept. 30

Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bills 876-878, which codify her previous Executive Orders, further extending the renewal dates for driver’s licenses, CDLs, state ID cards and vehicle registrations. Among the extensions outlined in the legislation, those with driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations expiring on or after March 1 have until September 30, 2020 to have them renewed. These acts take immediate effect.
We have confirmed with the secretary of state’s office that the expiration of BFS-4 temporary tags will also be extended through September 30, 2020.
All of the bills were sponsored by Senator Wayne Schmidt, R- Traverse City.
Sections of the bills pertinent to dealerships and your customers…
Enrolled Senate Bill 876: Section 216 (2) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, a registration issued to a motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer, when driven or moved on a street or highway, that expires on or after March 1, 2020 is valid until September 30, 2020. If the registration issued to a motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer, when driven or moved on a street or highway, that is used for commercial purposes expires on or after March 1, 2020, the registration is valid until September 30, 2020.
Enrolled Senate Bill 877: Section 2 (26) Notwithstanding subsection (13), an official state personal identification card expiring on or after March 1, 2020 is considered valid until September 30, 2020. If the secretary of state receives an application to renew an official state personal identification card that expires on or after March 1, 2020 before September 30, 2020, the secretary of state shall process the application as a renewal of an existing official state personal identification card.
Enrolled Senate Bill 878: Section 4 (4) An enhanced driver license or enhanced official state personal identification card that expires on or after March 1, 2020 is considered valid until September 30, 2020.
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