• Record Type:
    OSHA Instruction
  • Current Directive Number:
    CSP 01-03-001
  • Old Directive Number:
    STP 2.11
  • Title:
    Maritime Jurisdiction in State Plan States
  • Information Date:
  • Standard Number:
Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA Instruction STP 2.11 October 30, 1978




SUBJECT: Maritime Jurisdiction in State Plan States

Several questions have been raised recently as to the extent of Federal maritime jurisdiction in those States that have chosen to exclude the longshoring and maritime issues from their State plans.

Federal maritime jurisdiction under the Occupational Safety and Health Act is divided into two parts: that which is delegable to the States under an approved State plan; that which remains under exclusive Federal jurisdiction. States may assume jurisdiction over all onshore longshoring and maritime activities. However, due to the Constitutional provision for Federal government retention of full responsibility for regulation upon the navigable waterways of the United States, jurisdiction over offshore maritime and longshoring activities remains that of Federal OSHA and may not be assumed by the States. (Although the line between onshore and offshore, e.g. dry-docks, marine railways, graving docks, etc., is often less than clear, resolution of this controversy is not crucial to this memorandum.)

The Federal OSHA standards for ship repairing, shipbuilding, shipbreaking and longshoring are contained in 29 CFR 1915, 1916, 1917, and 1918. These were standards originally promulgated pursuant to the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Act and contain language limiting their applicability to the navigable waters of the United States. However, the OSHA adoption of these standards in 29 CFR 1910.13, .14, .15, .16 specifically extended their applicability to coincide with that of OSHA. (See 29 CFR 1910.11.) Thus, the standards apply to all employment that can be characterized as longshoring or maritime (according to SIC classification) whether it is onshore or offshore.

OSHA Instruction STP 2.11 October 30, 1978



A State choosing to cover the longshoring and maritime issues must adopt standards identical to or at least as effective as 29 CFR 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, and 1919. In such a State there is dual jurisdiction with State enforcement onshore and Federal residual enforcement for offshore activities. In a State choosing to exclude these issues (see State's Federal Register Plan approval notice and Operational Status Agreement), Federal OSHA retains jurisdiction and responsibility for all longshoring and maritime activities, both onshore and offshore. Any employment onshore (pier, wharf, apron, terminal, shed, yard, shipyard, machine shop, gear locker, riverbank or inland lake or water as well as on vessel on building ways) or offshore (upon the navigable water of the United States beginning at the foot of the gangway of vessels alongside and including work on vessels in dry-docks, graving docks, marine railways and building ways, marine elevators or lifts) is included within the Area Office's enforcement authority in these latter State plan States.

Regional Administrators should assure that full protection is being provided all workers employed in the longshoring and maritime industry located in State plan States either through a dual State/Federal enforcement scheme or sole Federal responsibility. If you have any questions, please contact Barbara Bryant (523-8031, Marjorie Sauber (523-8041) or Jim Meagher (523-8111).

bcc: Wilson, F.C., Weisblatt, Donnelly, Pallansch, C & R, Chron Files, Sauber, Meagher Draft reviewed by M. Pallansch & J. Meagher Files: Bryant OSHA/OCS/BBryant/gi/ 7/6/77