Are volunteers covered by MIOSHA?
Volunteers may be covered. Section 5 of the MIOSH Act defines an employee as a person permitted to work. MIOSHA applies when there is an employer-employee relationship. In evaluating volunteer work to determine whether an employer-employee relationship exists, MIOSHA considers how the work is controlled and whether there is compensation, a product produced or revenue generated. Control of work involves how work is scheduled, directed, supervised, and how materials and equipment are supplied. Compensation, product and revenue is evaluated to determine whether the level of compensation is more than De Minimis (i.e., a lunch or t-shirt, local fundraiser, etc.). If work is controlled and compensation, product or revenue is more than De Minimis, MIOSHA would cover the volunteer work.
*The answers provided are not meant to be a substitute for legal advice.