• Part Number:
  • Part Number Title:
    State Plans for the Development and Enforcement of State Standards Applicable to State and Local Government Employees in States Without Approved Private Employee Plans
  • Subpart:
    1956 Subpart A
  • Subpart Title:
  • Standard Number:
  • Title:
    General policies.
  • GPO Source:

Policy. The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health (hereinafter referred to as the Assistant Secretary) will approve a State plan which provides an occupational safety and health program for the protection of State and local government employees (hereinafter State and local government employees are referred to as public employees) that in his judgment meets or will meet the criteria set forth in § 1956.10. Included among these criteria is the requirement that the State plan for public employees (hereinafter such a plan will be referred to as the plan) provides for the development and enforcement of standards relating to hazards in employment covered by the plan which are or will be at least as effective in providing safe and healthful employment and places of employment for public employees as standards promulgated and enforced under section 6 of the Act. In determining whether a plan satisfies the requirement of effectiveness, the Assistant Secretary will measure the plan against the indices of effectiveness, set forth in § 1956.11.


Developmental plan.


A State plan for an occupational safety and health program for public employees may be approved although, upon submission, it does ot fully meet the criteria set forth in § 1956.10, if it includes satisfactory assurances by the State that it will take the necessary steps to bring the program into conformity with these criteria within the 3-year period immediately following the commencement of the plan's operation. In such a case, the plan shall include the specific actions the State proposes to take, and a time schedule for their accomplishment which is not to exceed 3 years, at the end of which the plan will meet the criteria in § 1956.10. A developmental plan shall include the dates within which intermediate and final action will be accomplished. Although administrative actions, such as stages for application of standards and enforcement, related staffing, development of regulations may be developmental, to be considered for approval, a State plan for public employees must contain at time of plan approval basic State legislative and/or executive authority under which these actions will be taken. If necessary program changes require further implementing executive action by the Governor or supplementary legislative action by the State, a copy of the appropriate order, or the bill or a draft of legislation that will be or has been proposed for enactment shall be submitted, accompanied by:

A statement of the Governor's support of the legislation or order and

A statement of legal opinion that the proposed legislation or executive action will meet the requirements of the Act and this part in a manner consistent with the State's constitution and laws.


On the basis of the State's submission, the Assistant Secretary will approve the plan if he finds that there is a reasonable expectation that the plan for public employees will meet the criteria in § 1956.10 within the indicated 3 year period. In such a case, the Assistant Secretary shall not make a determination that a State is fully applying the criteria in § 1956.10 until the State has completed all the developmental steps specified in the plan which are designed to make it at least as effective as the Federal program for the private sector, and the Assistant Secretary has had at least 1 year to evaluate the plan on the basis of actual operations following the completion of all developmental steps. If at the end of 3 years from the date of commencement of the plan's operation, the State is found by the Assistant Secretary, after affording the State notice and an opportunity for a hearing, not to have substantially completed the developmental steps of the plan, he shall withdraw the approval of the plan.


Where a State plan approved under part 1902 of this chapter is discontinued, except for its public employee component, or becomes approved after approval of a plan under this part, the developmental period applicable to the public employee component of the earlier plan will be controlling with regard to any such public employee coverage. For good cause, a State may demonstrate that an additional period of time is required to make adjustments on account of the transfer from one type of plan to another.


Scope of a State plan for public employees.


A State plan for public employees must provide for the coverage of both State and local government employees to the full extent permitted by the State laws and constitution. The qualification “to the extent permitted by its law” means only that where a State may not constitutionally regulate occupational safety and health conditions in certain political subdivisions, the plan may exclude such political subdivision employees from coverage.

The State shall not exclude any occupational, industrial, or hazard grouping from coverage under its plan unless the Assistant Secretary finds that the State has shown there is no necessity for such coverage.