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A Better Partnership


May 2020
May 07, 2020

Governor Whitmer Issues New Executive Order to Reopen Manufacturing

On May 7, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued new Executive Order 2020-77 (May 7th Order), which rescinded the prior Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Orders issued on April 24, 2020, March 23, 2020, April 9, 2020, and May 1, 2020 (collectively, Prior Orders). The May 7th Order takes effect immediately, though some changes do not take effect until 12:01 a.m. on May 11, 2020. Unless otherwise altered by this new order, all the prior stay home requirements remain in effect through May 28, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
The May 7th Order permits the manufacturing sector to resume, but such activities are subject to certain workplace safeguards.  
Manufacturing May Resume Activities on May 11, 2020
The May 7th Order labels workers who may perform resumed activities as:
  1. Effective immediately, workers necessary to perform start-up activities at manufacturing facilities, including activities necessary to prepare the facilities to follow the workplace safeguards described below. 

  2. Effective at 12:01 a.m. on May 11, 2020, workers necessary to perform manufacturing activities, subject to the workplace safeguards described below. Manufacturing work may not commence under this subsection until the facility at which the work will be performed has prepared to follow the workplace safeguards described below. 

  3. Workers designated as critical infrastructure workers at suppliers, distribution centers or service providers whose in-person presence is necessary to enable, support or facilitate another business’s or operation’s resumed activities, including workers at suppliers, distribution centers or service providers along the supply chain whose in-person presence is necessary to enable, support or facilitate the necessary work of another supplier, distribution center or service provider in enabling, supporting or facilitating another business’s or operation’s resumed activities.  

  4. Effective immediately, workers necessary to train, credential and license first responders (e.g., police officers, fire fighters, paramedics) and health care workers, including certified nursing assistants, provided that as much instruction as possible is provided remotely.
Additional Requirements for the Manufacturing Industry
The May 7th Order requires that, before a manufacturing facility may begin manufacturing work, it must be prepared to follow these workplace safeguards:
  • Conduct a daily entry screening protocol for workers, contractors, suppliers and any other individuals entering the facility, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID‑19, together with temperature screening using no-touch thermometers.

  • Create dedicated entry point(s) at every facility for daily screening as provided above, and ensure physical barriers are in place to prevent anyone from bypassing the screening.  

  • Suspend all non-essential in-person visits, including tours.

  • Train workers on, at a minimum:  
    • Routes by which the virus causing COVID‑19 is transmitted from person to person.
    • Distance that the virus can travel in the air, as well as the time it remains viable in the air and on environmental surfaces.
    • Symptoms of COVID‑19.
    • Steps the worker must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID‑19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID‑19.
    • Measures that the facility is taking to prevent worker exposure to the virus, as described in the COVID‑19 preparedness and response plan required under the order.
    • Rules that the worker must follow in order to prevent exposure to and spread of the virus.
    • The use of personal protective equipment, including the proper steps for putting it on and taking it off.
  • Reduce congestion in common spaces wherever practicable by, for example, closing salad bars and buffets within cafeterias and kitchens, requiring individuals to sit at least six feet from one another, placing markings on the floor to allow social distancing while standing in line, offering boxed food via delivery or pick-up points, and reducing cash payments.  

  • Implement rotational shift schedules where possible (e.g., increasing the number of shifts, alternating days or weeks) to reduce the number of workers in the facility at the same time.  

  • Stagger start times and meal times.  

  • Install temporary physical barriers, where practicable, between work stations and cafeteria tables.  

  • Create protocols for minimizing personal contact upon delivery of materials to the facility.

  • Adopt protocols to limit the sharing of tools and equipment to the maximum extent possible.  

  • Frequently and thoroughly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, paying special attention to parts, products and shared equipment (e.g., tools, machinery, vehicles).

  • Ensure there are sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite to enable easy access by workers, and discontinue use of hand dryers.  

  • Notify plant leaders and potentially exposed individuals upon identification of a positive case of COVID‑19 in the facility, as well as maintain a central log for symptomatic workers or workers who received a positive test for COVID‑19.

  • Send potentially-exposed individuals home upon identification of a positive case of COVID‑19 in the facility.  

  • Encourage workers to self-report to plant leaders as soon as possible after developing symptoms of COVID‑19.

  • Shut areas of the manufacturing facility for cleaning and disinfection, as necessary, if workers go home because they are displaying symptoms of COVID‑19.
Additional Requirements and Provisions
The May 7th Order also contains the following requirements with respect to masks:
  • All businesses, operations and government agencies [this was expanded from the construction industry (as stated in the May 1st Order)], that remain open for in-person work must require masks to be worn when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace, and consider face shields when workers cannot consistently maintain three feet of separation from other individuals in the workplace.   

  • An individual may be required to temporarily remove a face covering upon entering an enclosed public space for identification purposes.
The May 7th Order also states that no individual is subject to penalty for engaging in or traveling to engage in religious worship at a place of religious worship, or for not wearing a face covering.
Warner has organized a cross-disciplinary legal team to help answer questions regarding the stay at home orders. If you have any questions or concerns related to the May 7th Order, or any previously issued stay-at-home order, please reach out to your Warner client manager or Michael Brady, Troy Cumings, Amanda Fielder, Matthew Johnson or Linda Paullin-Hebden

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