Michigan Agency Plans to Trim Hundreds of Workplace Safety Rules

"Elimination of duplicative and unnecessarily burdensome rules will reduce costs for businesses and allow MIOSHA to focus on enforcing rules that are core to their mission of workplace safety," said Steven H. Hilfinger, chief regulatory officer and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs director.

The Michigan Office of Regulatory Reinvention (ORR) recently released a report to Gov. Snyder containing recommendations for improving Michigan's workplace safety regulations while continuing to protect Michigan's workers. Snyder has reviewed the recommendations and has asked ORR and MIOSHA to work toward implementing the recommendations.

ORR made 624 recommendations for changes to 334 separate Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) rules that exceed the federal standards. The recommendations contemplate the rescission of more than 611 distinct MIOSHA requirements (this includes entire rules or parts of rules). ORR made nine other recommendations separate from the review of existing MIOSHA rules.

"Elimination of duplicative and unnecessarily burdensome rules will reduce costs for businesses and allow MIOSHA to focus on enforcing rules that are core to their mission of workplace safety," said Steven H. Hilfinger, chief regulatory officer and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs director. "None of the rescinded requirements are present in federal OSHA regulations. Eliminating these Michigan-specific amendments will result in less complex and more efficient regulations and will make Michigan more competitive in attracting and growing businesses."

ORR formed recommendations after a comprehensive review process, including convening an Advisory Rules Committee (ARC) of stakeholders that included representatives from manufacturers, unions, utilities, construction companies, pharmaceutical companies, municipal organizations, senior officials from MIOSH, and more.

ARC Committee Member Delaney Newberry, director of Human Resource Policy for the Michigan Manufacturers Association, said, "Unnecessary administrative rules can impose billions of dollars in costs on Michigan job providers, negatively affecting our state's competitiveness in the global economy. We look forward to being an active partner in the next steps of implementation of the recommendations. Our state's economic vitality is at stake."

ORR worked closely with MIOSHA in reviewing existing administrative rules and developing the recommendations through the Workplace Safety Advisory Rules Committee.

"The ORR project has provided the opportunity for a much-needed update of MIOSHA regulations by eliminating rules that are duplicative, obsolete, or seldom used," said MIOSHA Director Martha Yoder.

"When completed, the project will improve MIOSHA effectiveness by reducing the number of rules employers must consider when creating their workplace safety and health systems."

ORR has recommended the elimination of the Construction Safety, General Industry, and Occupational Health Standards Commissions, which no longer have any rulemaking authority, in favor of more specialized ad hoc advisory committees.

The Workplace Safety Advisory Rules Committee unanimous in its recommendations to ORR and concurred that these recommendations would help build a more simple, fair, efficient, and transparent regulatory system, while still providing the necessary safeguards for workers. To view the complete recommendations, visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/lara/ORR_Workplace_Safety_Recommendations_379045_7.pdf.

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