|OSHSPA Reports on State Plan Activities > 2002 OSHSPA Report > State Standards: Addressing Specific Hazards|
|State Standards: Addressing Specific Hazards|
The regulatory process can work more quickly at the state level, and state plan programs have set standards that have sometimes been a model and forerunner of standards later adopted or expanded by federal OSHA at the national level. Individual states and territories have promulgated standards addressing hazards specific to local industry, often involving labor and management representatives in the process.
Attention nationwide is focused on incorporating into OSHA requirements the new technologies of engineered sharps devices and systems without needles. Needlestick injuries are the primary mode of transmission of bloodborne pathogens in the workplace. California was a leader in passing a bloodborne pathogens standard to protect healthcare workers. Since California’s breakthrough in July 1999, several state plan states passed legislation to strengthen their bloodborne standards, including Alaska, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Tennessee. Kentucky enforces the bloodborne standard in the construction industry, as well as general industry. Outreach activities for reducing needlestick injuries have been developed by Iowa, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Alaska, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada and Virginia have permit requirements for asbestos handling. Iowa requires businesses engaged in the removal or encapsulation of asbestos to hold a permit for that purpose, and asbestos workers must be licensed. California and Nevada require pre-job conferences for certain high-hazard construction projects.
California, Hawaii, Nevada, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon and Puerto Rico have state specific regulations on crane operations. Oregon requires certification for operators of cranes that are five tons or more. Maryland has a unique standard for personnel platforms suspended from cranes, derricks and hoists in general industry. California inspects fixed and mobile tower cranes within 10 business days of receiving an application for an operating permit. Puerto Rico requires crane inspectors to be licensed by its Department of Labor and Human Resources.
Alaska, California, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington have state-specific standards on logging practices. Many of these states developed comprehensive logging standards in the early 1970s. Alaska also developed safety codes for highline, tractor and helicopter logging. The Washington logging standard was adopted in a clear-rule writing style and updated to meet current industry needs. Oregon recently adopted revisions to its Forest Activities standard, which will become effective in October 2003. The new rules were made to include changes in technology, outdated and obsolete rules were eliminated, and areas not previously addressed were added.
In 1973, Washington developed a confined space standard covering all industries. Utah developed confined space entry requirements for farming operations in 1987. Before federal OSHA adopted its 1993 permit-required confined space standard, Virginia had maintained confined space standards for the general, construction and telecommunications industries since 1987. In 1988, Minnesota adopted a confined space entry standard for construction and general industry. Kentucky has had a confined space standard since 1996. In 1978, Maryland adopted regulations that established safety standards for all types of work in a confined space.
Many states had right-to-know laws before federal OSHA implemented the hazard communication standard in 1984. Although the national standard initially covered only manufacturing and later expanded, in Tennessee, labor, management, TOSHA, and the Tennessee General Assembly cooperated to expand coverage to all workers. Minnesota’s employee right-to-know law, adopted in 1983, covers more than hazardous substances. It also covers harmful physical agents–such as noise, heat, ionizing and nonionizing radiation–and infectious agents. MNOSHA has required training on all infectious agents, including bloodborne pathogens, since 1983.
Alaska’s hazard communication regulations cover noise and radiation in addition to workplace chemicals and hazardous physical agents. Michigan covers piping systems containing hazardous substances, and requires employers to post employee notices on where material safety data sheets (MSDS) are kept.
From its inception in 1988, Iowa’s right-to-know legislation covered all industry sectors, including construction, as well as right-to-know laws for the general public and in public emergency response. California maintains an information system that alerts employers and workers to the dangers of toxic substances in the workplace.
Maryland’s Access to Information about Hazardous and Toxic Substances law, adopted in 1985, provides specific requirements for compiling a chemical information list, which they must submit to the Department of the Environment.
Lead in Construction
Maryland adopted a comprehensive lead-in-construction standard in 1983, combining information, education and enforcement to protect construction workers. The state also requires laboratories to report high blood-lead levels. Virginia adopted a regulation to monitor lead contractors’ compliance with state and federal requirements for removal and disposal of lead.
Fall Protection in Steel Erection
In addition to adopting the revised OSHA steel erection standard, Maryland adopted additional fall protection requirements. Except for connectors and employees performing leading edge work in a controlled decking zone, employees from 10 up to and including 15 feet in height are required to have fall protection.
In 1980, Utah promulgated and adopted standards that cover all phases of oil and gas well drilling and servicing. Wyoming set regulations in 1970 covering oil and gas well drilling and servicing, and expanded its coverage in 1984 to include special servicing. Alaska also developed unique safety codes for the petroleum industry.
Vermont’s standard for electric power generation, transmission and distribution requires two qualified line workers whenever energized lines and equipment are involved. Virginia’s Overhead High Voltage Line Safety Act requires employers to work with the owners of overhead power lines to de-energize or guard power lines against accidental contact while work is being conducted around such lines. Maryland’s High Voltage Line Act, adopted in 1968, requires employers to work with owners of overhead power lines to ensure the lines are effectively guarded.
Recognizing that the hazards of off-highway vehicles exist in industrial settings as well as on construction sites, Kentucky adopted safety standards for off-highway motor vehicles and equipment used in general industry locations. Minnesota adopted a standard in 1999, to provide protection to operators and ground crews working with and around mobile earthmover equipment on construction sites.
Indoor Firing Range
The New Jersey Public Employees Occupational safety and Health (PEOSH) Indoor Firing Range Standard became effective in May 1989. The standard has requirements to protect employees using and maintaining indoor firing ranges, and applies to indoor firing ranges operated by public employers. The purpose is to reduce the potential for exposure to lead and high noise levels to shooters, range officers and maintenance personnel.
Indoor Air Quality Standard
The New Jersey Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) Indoor Air Quality standard became effective in 1997. The main goal is to reduce health symptoms associated with poor indoor air quality by increasing employer compliance with the standard’s provisions. Contributing to the success of the standard is a strong educational component.
Cold Weather Shelter
Because Minnesota’s climate can adversely affect working outdoors at certain times during the year, Minnesota adopted a unique job-site shelter standard in 1978 that requires employers to provide heated privies and shelters for employee mealtimes and clothing change when working in cold weather.
Migrant & Immigrant Regulations
Every California employer operating a labor camp is required to obtain a permit issued by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) or by a local government agency authorized to issue such permits. California’s Targeted Industries Partnership Program (TIPP) combines and coordinates resources from state, federal and local agencies to enforce labor laws pertaining to immigrants and to educate employers and their employees.
For over 20 years North Carolina has been a leader in committing resources to provide protection for agricultural workers. They conduct pre-occupancy inspections of migrant housing, and enforce OSHA regulations. North Carolina adopted a field sanitation standard in 1983 that covers all migrant and seasonal farm workers.
Oregon issues raised by OR-OSHA stakeholders during the 1999 growing season precipitated changes to the agricultural labor housing regulations. Effective October 1, 2000, housing operators are required to provide a mattress or pad, and the bed or bunk must keep the mattress at least six inches off the floor. Each unit is required to have a working smoke detector. Tents must be either made of or treated with flame-retardant materials.
The 1999 Washington legislature passed legislation requiring the Department of Labor and Industries and the Department of Health to adopt joint rules for the licensing, operation and inspection of temporary worker housing. They developed regulations that will improve housing conditions for farm workers living in temporary on-farm housing during the harvest seasons. The new rules will be stable and predictable so that growers and workers alike know what to expect.
Virginia’s field sanitation standard for agriculture ensures the availability of drinking water for all employees regardless of the number.
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