Today Governor Walz signed Executive Order 20-40, which allows workers in certain industrial and office settings to return to work, subject to several conditions. First, all workers who can work from home must continue to do so. Second, the employer must create a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and conduct health screenings of employees each day at arrival.
What is an Industrial Setting?
Industrial settings are places of employment in which goods are in the process of being created. This includes agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting as well as mining, construction, utilities and manufacturing. Wholesale trade and warehousing also qualify as they are preparing those goods for sale to customers and consumers.
What is an Office Setting?
Office settings are places of employment in which workers do their work in an office space in which people primarily do their work at their desk in which the work is not primarily customer facing.
What is required?
Before workers may return to work these newly exempt businesses must adopt a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan. The Plan must implement Minnesota OSHA Standards and MDH and CDC Guidelines in the workplace. These
requirements are published here:
And a link to a template plan can be found here:
At a minimum each plan must include the following:
1. Require work from home whenever possible.
2. Ensure that sick workers stay home. To that end all Plans must establish policies and procedures, including health screenings, that prevent sick workers from entering the workplace.
3. All Plans must establish social distancing policies and procedures.
4. All Plans must establish hygiene and source control policies for workers.
5. All Plans must establish cleaning and disinfection protocols for areas within the workplace.
• Senior management responsible for implementing the Plan must sign and certify the plan.
• Employers must provide the plan, in writing, to all workers, and the Plan must be posted in locations that can readily be reviewed by all workers.
• Employers must ensure that training is provided to workers on the contents of the Plan and required procedures, so that all workers understand and are able to perform the precautions necessary to protect themselves and their co-workers.
• Employers should also take steps to supervise workers and ensure that workers understand and adhere to necessary precautions.
• Documentation demonstrating compliance with the training requirement must be maintained and made available to regulatory authorities and public safety officers, including the Minnesota Department of Labor, upon request.
• Businesses do not need to submit their Plan to regulatory authorities for preapproval.
Be aware this makes no changes to the definition of Critical Workers/Sectors from Governor Walz’s prior executive orders. Critical Workers/Sectors can remain open, as they were before this order. What this order does allow is non-Critical Sector Workers in industrial and office settings can go back to work, with certain conditions. In addition, businesses that sell goods and services directly to customers must remain closed for now.
A link to Guidance on the new Executive Order can be found here: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/safework/non-critical/