Trade News Release
January 10, 2001
Contact: Frank Meilinger
PHONE: (202) 693-1999
NEW JERSEY PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PLAN RECEIVES APPROVAL
New Jersey today became the newest state to receive approval from OSHA to administer its own occupational safety and health plan for public employees.
New Jersey joins Connecticut and New York as one of three states authorized by OSHA to offer a safety and health program specifically for public employees. The New Jersey plan is the first new state plan since New York was added in 1984. Twenty-three other states have OSHA-approved plans for the private sector that extend coverage to state and local government employees.
"We applaud the state of New Jersey for their ongoing commitment to the safety and health of their public employees," said OSHA Administrator Charles N. Jeffress. "It's a pleasure to recognize their accomplishment and welcome them as our newest state partner."
The plan will be administered by the New Jersey Department of Labor with the Department of Health and Senior Services having responsibility for conducting health inspections. The program covers more than 470,000 public employees, including approximately 112,900 state government workers and roughly 357,100 municipal employees. Private sector employees remain under the jurisdiction of federal OSHA.
New Jersey has adopted standards identical to most federal OSHA safety and health standards and has committed to bring all of its standards into line with OSHA requirements. The state plan also provides that future OSHA standards and revisions will be adopted by the state.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and 29 CFR Part 1956 allow states and territories to establish plans that cover only state and local government employees - workers who are excluded from Federal coverage. Once a state plan is approved, OSHA funds up to 50% of
the program's operating costs.
To be eligible for a developmental public employee only State plan, a state must operate an occupational safety and health program that is, or will be, "at least as effective" as the federal program. It also must have a sufficient number of safety inspectors and industrial hygienists to run the program effectively. New Jersey will have a staff of 20 safety and 7 health inspectors as well as staff to promote voluntary compliance. Finally, the state must provide data to federal OSHA on its activities.
Notice of plan approval is scheduled for publication in the January 11, 2001 issue of the Federal Register.
This news release text is on the Internet World Wide Web at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.