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OSHA Trade Release

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Trade News Release
August 15, 2006
Contact: Bill Wright
Phone: (202) 693-1999

OSHA Certifies the New York State Plan for Public Employees

WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced that it will approve plan amendments and certify the state of New York's occupational safety and health plan for its public employees. This certification reflects OSHA's determination that all developmental commitments have been met and that the state's plan is structurally complete.

"This is a major milestone for the state of New York in the development of its occupational safety and health program," said Edwin G. Foulke Jr., Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA. "We congratulate them on this accomplishment and for their ongoing commitment to the safety and health of their public employees."

OSHA's certification indicates that the state plan contains all the necessary structural elements (standards, statutory and regulatory authorities, and procedures) to operate a program for its public employees which is "at least as effective" as the federal program. Absent a state plan, state and local government employees are not covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

New York's state plan is administered by the New York Department of Labor, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) program and covers nearly 1.3 million state and local government employees.

OSHA encourages states to develop and operate their own safety and health programs. While most state plans cover both private sector and public sector employees, New York is one of four jurisdictions that cover only public sector employees; the others are Connecticut, New Jersey and the Virgin Islands. Private sector enforcement authority in the state of New York remains the responsibility of federal OSHA.

Notice of OSHA's approval of plan supplements and certification of the New York state plan for public employees is scheduled for publication in the Aug. 16, 2006 Federal Register.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit


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