Gov. Whitmer Reopens Construction, Real Estate, Outdoor Work

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Today, at a press conference with leaders in health care, business, and labor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-70 as part of her MI Safe Start plan. The executive order will allow the May 7 resumption of some types of work that present a very low risk of infection, including construction, real-estate activities, and work that is traditionally and primarily performed outdoors.

Barton Malow President and CEO, Ryan Maibach, a member of the Michigan Economic Recovery Council and the 2020 Mackinac Policy Conference Chair, joined Gov. Whitmer at the podium.

“With an eye towards Michigan’s economic recovery, leadership representing the full spectrum of the construction industry have been working diligently and cooperatively to outline processes and practices that will allow us to safely get back to work,” said Maibach. “The construction industry is entrenched in a culture of safety, and as we return to work, we are developing and implementing new best practices that further emphasize the well-being of our workers and Michigan’s citizens.”

As the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order extensions and revisions continue, the Chamber continues to be engaged and effective behind the scenes.  Several of the Governor’s recent decisions, such as easing of outdoor work restrictions and today’s construction-related announcement have been informed by the Chamber’s engagement.

Business to Adopt Measure to Protect Workers

Executive Order 2020-70 also requires businesses to adopt measures to protect their workers against the spread of COVID-19. Under the order, construction sites must adopt a set of best practices to protect their workers from infection. Those practices include:

  • Designating a site supervisor to enforce COVID-19 control strategies.
  • Conducting daily health screenings for workers.
  • Creating dedicated entry points, if possible, or issuing stickers or other indicators to assure that all workers are screened every day.
  • Identifying choke points and high-risk areas (like hallways, hoists, and elevators, break areas, water stations, and buses) and controlling them to enable social distancing.
  • Ensuring sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite.

‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Executive Order

The governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order remains in effect until May 15, 2020. Under this order, Michiganders still must not leave their homes except to run critical errands, to engage in safe outdoor activities, or to go to jobs specified as essential.

Last week, the governor signed Executive Order 2020-59 to require people to wear homemade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. This requirement is still in effect under Executive Order 2020-70.

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