LANSING — State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) introduced House Bill 5698 requiring all businesses, including family operated businesses, to clearly post a notice proving that they have worker’s compensation insurance. Dianda’s bill has bi-partisan support with 56 co-sponsors.
“I’m concerned that certain smaller wood shops and light industrial businesses aren’t following all the rules to protect their workers,” said Dianda. “I hope that by requiring everyone to post proof that they have workers’ comp insurance, this will remind them that they must follow safety rules. If they fail to post the notice that will flag the business for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs inspectors so that they can work with them on following all safety rules.”
Dianda’s bill would require an employer subject to workers’ compensation laws to post in a conspicuous location up-to-date proof that they carry workers’ compensation insurance. If they do not have this information posted, then they can be ordered to pay a civil fine. This would be the same kind of requirement that businesses already follow when they post directions for administering CPR or signs saying that workers are required to wash their hands before returning to work. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) inspects worksites and investigates work-place safety complaints. Inspectors have run into difficulty inspecting Amish-run wood shops and saw mills, which do not always follow the same rules as non-Amish work sites. Across the state these Amish businesses compete with other forest industries who must follow these rules. Dianda hopes to level the playing field for all of these businesses with the workers’ comp posting requirement and civil fine if they fail to post.
“My bill will, I hope, help create safer work sites,” said Dianda. “By requiring that they post a sign saying that they carry workers’ comp insurance, I hope this will remind employers and workers that accidents can and do happen, and that they need to always follow all safety rules to prevent them.”