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Michigan: The Official Stance for Construction

Construction Status: Essential

Announced on April 9, the Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer ordered a shutdown of all non-essential services and business. However, construction has listed to be an essential service like many other states. With a stay at home order, an executive order listing all the non-essential businesses and services was also released.

Presently, the state of Michigan is moving towards recovery but still Governor Whitmer has announced executive orders to mandate the wearing of masks on July 17, 2020. Besides this, the Government is planning to improve the funding to ensure the economic development in the state.

October 2020 Update: With rising number of cases in the Upper Peninsula region of Michigan, Governor Whitmer has announced a change of status from phase 5 to phase 4 for preventing further spread. Specifically, region 6 and region 8 defined by Michigan government are ordered to stick with remote work guidelines wherever possible. Though there are no specific guidelines related to construction, the construction workers and contractors have to stick with safety guidelines at worksite to avoid contagion.

Governing Body: Office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer

FAQs: Michigan Construction Updates on the COVID-19 Pandemic

How construction is addressed in the order?

All exemptions announced by the government were created based on CISA guidelines. Citing the CISA Memorandum from March 19, construction is deemed an essential activity.

However, all the non-essential activities including residential and remodeling construction have ceased. The overall situation has caused confusion for most construction firms who have been demanding written clarification according to this news report.

How building materials are addressed in the order?

The orders have stated workers at designated building material suppliers and distributors to be exempt. But still, the term designated is mischievous as most builders and suppliers are relating it to designating each other for taking construction forward.

Are there any updates released to define workplace guidelines for employers?

Yes, the state has released workplace guidelines for the construction industry. Considering the need for health and safety, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration along with the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity have created these guidelines.

How Construction could be kept open amid COVID-19?

To keep construction open in the state of Michigan, construction companies, contractors and even the workers need to stick with essential safety guidelines. These include practicing social distancing as well as defining the other measures at the site which can prevent illness.

Are there any specific rules for preparing worksites?

Yes, the Michigan State has issued orders on improving the best practice guidelines in the state for construction workers and sites against COVID-19. These also include guidance on preparing construction sites to avoid the spread of infection at work.

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