Back to 2009 OSHSPA Report
OSHSPA: States Protecting Workers
OSHSPA is the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association, an organization of 26 states and territories that have OSHA-approved state plans. OSHSPA is the link between the state plans, federal OSHA, and Congress. OSHSPA representatives meet three times a year to exchange information and address shared concerns. OSHSPA representatives also appear before congressional committees and other hearings to report on workplace safety and health matters.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 gives states and territories the right to develop their own workplace safety and health plans and to enforce safety and health rules within their jurisdictions. Federal OSHA approves and monitors state plans and funds up to 50 percent of their operating costs. State plans must be as effective as federal OSHA in enforcing safe and healthful working conditions.
State plans affect the safety and health of more than 57 million workers. In addition to their enforcement role, state plans help employers make safer workplaces with free consultative services, education, and technical assistance.
Protecting public sector employees
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 does not cover public sector employees; however, the state plans give equal protection to public and private sector employees. This is a significant benefit to public employees because some of the most hazardous occupations — firefighting, emergency response, corrections, law enforcement, publicly funded health care facilities, and transportation — are in the public sector.