Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents
• Record Type: Confined and Enclosed Spaces and Other Dangerous Atmospheres in Shipyard Employment
• Section: 7
• Title: Section 7 - VII. Federalism

VII. Federalism

This final rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12612 (52 FR 41685, October 30, 1987), regarding Federalism. This Order requires that agencies, to the extent possible, refrain from limiting state policy options, consult with states before taking any actions which would restrict state policy options, and take such actions only if there is clear constitutional authority and the presence of a problem of national scope. The Order provides for preemption of state law only if there is a clear Congressional intent for the Agency to do so. Any such preemption is to be limited to the extent possible.

Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) expresses Congress' clear intent to preempt state laws relating to issues on which Federal OSHA has promulgated occupational safety and health standards. Under the OSH Act, a state can avoid preemption only if it submits, and obtains Federal approval of, a plan for the development of such standards and their enforcement. Occupational safety and health standards developed by such Plan-States must, among other things, be at least as effective in providing safe and healthful employment and places of employment as the Federal standards. Where such standards are applicable to products distributed or used in interstate commerce, they may not unduly burden commerce and must be justified by compelling local conditions. (See section 18(c)(2) of the OSH Act.) The Federal standards on confined and enclosed spaces and other dangerous atmospheres address hazards which are not unique to any one state or region of the country. Nonetheless, states with occupational safety and health plans approved under section 18 of the OSH Act will be able to develop their own state standards to deal with any special problems which might be encountered in a particular state. Moreover, because these standards are written in general, performance-oriented terms, there is considerable flexibility for state plans to require, and for affected employers to use, methods of compliance which are appropriate to the working conditions covered by the standard.

In brief, this final rule addresses a clear national problem related to occupational safety and health in shipyard employment. States which have elected to participate under section 18 of the OSH Act are not preempted by this standard and will be able to address any special conditions within the framework of the Federal Act, while ensuring that the state standards are at least as effective as this standard.

[59 FR 37816, July 25, 1994]

Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents Regulations (Preambles to Final Rules) - Table of Contents