OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
OSHA Trade Release
U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Office of Communications
For Immediate Release
OSHA Trade Release
December 15, 2004
Contact: Frank Meilinger
Phone: (202) 693-1999
Agency Approves Changes to Oregon Program
WASHINGTON -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking public comment until Jan. 18, 2005 on a proposal to grant final approval to Oregon's occupational safety and health program. The agency also has approved changes to the Oregon state plan, including legislation, administrative rules, compliance manual and policy directives. Both announcements are scheduled to appear in tomorrow's Federal Register.
If final approval is granted, Oregon would become the 17th state where federal OSHA has determined that a state plan is meeting all the requirements of an effective state OSHA program. The OSH Act permits states and territories to establish their own job safety and health programs subject to federal approval and monitoring. Twenty-six (26) states operate OSHA-approved state plans.
The state of Oregon has had an approved state plan since 1972 and since 1975 has provided most worker protection in the state without any exercise of federal enforcement. The Oregon plan is administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) of the Department of Consumer and Business Services and covers all employers except those on Indian lands, federal agencies, the U.S. Postal Service, contractors on military reservations, and most maritime employers. These employers remain under federal jurisdiction.
Final approval for the Oregon state occupational safety and health plan would result in the relinquishment of federal standards and enforcement authority in all areas covered by the state's program except temporary labor camps. OSHA would continue to monitor the plan and provide funding of up to 50 percent.
To be eligible for final approval, a state must operate an occupational safety and health program that is found to be performing in a manner at least as effective as the federal program. It also must have a sufficient number of safety and health inspectors to run the program effectively, and provide data to federal OSHA on its activities.
OSHA has determined that Oregon's plan meets or exceeds required benchmarks for compliance staffing, and is at least as effective as the federal program in areas such as occupational safety and health standards and variances from standards; enforcement; inspection targeting and procedures; employee participation in inspections; protection from discrimination; citations and penalties; and voluntary compliance programs. In addition, OSHA has found that trends in worker injury and illness rates under the Oregon plan compare favorably with those under the federal program.
Information on how to comment on the proposal to grant final approval to Oregon's occupational safety and health program and the agency's announcement of OSHA's approval of changes to the Oregon state plan are scheduled to be published in the same Dec. 16 Federal Register.
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 workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
This news release text is on the Internet at http://www.osha.gov. Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.
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