The Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth administers MIOSHA, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration. MIOSHA’s mission is to promote the health and safety of workers in Michigan. To that end, MIOSHA publishes fact-based standards with which businesses operating in Michigan must comply. Various MIOSHA commissions and committees research, develop and propose standards, and the public can comment on proposed standards during public hearings.
MIOSHA publishes standards for general industry relating to both safety and health. Some safety standards apply generally, such as requirements for the availability of fire exits in workplace buildings and requirements relating to personal protective gear for workers. Some are more specific, such as requirements governing firefighting and fire brigade activities. Health standards cover limitations on workplace threats such as air contaminants, noise exposure, poisons and radiation exposure.
MIOSHA sets some standards that are specific to the construction industry. For example, MIOSHA sets safety standards for construction-site activities such as masonry, welding, excavating, digging and driving construction site vehicles. MIOSHA health standards for construction address issues such as restrictions on air contaminants specific to construction sites, asbestos handling and conditions to which workers are subject during underground construction projects.
MIOSHA standards for the agriculture relate to a relatively small set of specialized activities such as logging, the use of temporary labor camps for agricultural workers, guidelines on the use of chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia and hazardous materials such as cadmium, and standards for the use of farm field equipment such as agricultural tractors.
MIOSHA publishes administrative standards that apply broadly to all covered industries. These standards specify procedures for reporting and recording worker injuries and occupational illnesses, set forth guidelines relating to inspections and investigations, and specify the ways in which the worker’s “right to know” about potential workplace hazards can be communicated to workers.
MIOSHA has a number of tools for ensuring compliance with its standards. Workers have the right to file formal complaints with MIOSHA if they believe their employer is not complying with MIOSHA standards. Workers also have the right when they file a complaint to request that MIOSHA not reveal their names to the employer. Workers can file complaints online or in writing. MIOSHA can investigate the complaints and issue citations to the employer if it determines that the employer is not complying with MIOSHA standards.