The plan designates the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources as the agency responsible
for the administration and enforcement of the plan throughout the Commonwealth. This includes the responsibility for administration of a public
employee program for which the same enforcement provisions and procedures used for the private sector will apply, with the exception of penalties.
Penalties in the Commonwealth's Act for the private sector are essentially identical to those in the Federal Act, and Puerto Rico intends to adopt all
Federal standards. The Commonwealth will exclude from coverage all industries included within the classifications of Marine Cargo Handling (SIC 4463)
and Shipbuilding and Repairing (SIC 3713), but will adopt and enforce standards for boilers and elevators and other issues where no Federal OSHA
standards exist. The plan provides that program personnel will be employed under a merit system and provides for a Management Information System. It
also provides procedures for the development and promulgation of standards and procedures for the prompt restraint or elimination of imminent danger
The Puerto Rico Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted on July 7, 1975, and approved by the
Governor on August 5, 1975. It is similar in most respect to the Federal Act. The Puerto Rico Act provides employers the right of administrative
review of citations, abatement requirements, and proposed penalties, and employee review of abatement dates, by a hearing examiner appointed by the
Puerto Rico Secretary of Labor. The decision by the Secretary may be appealed by the employer or employees to the civil courts. The plan contains a
statement of support by the Governor and an opinion by the Secretary of Justice that the Act is consistent with the State's Law and Constitution.
Federal procedural regulations will be incorporated into the Commonwealth's regulations and the Federal Compliance Manual will be adopted to fit
Puerto Rico's Law. In addition, the Puerto Rico Act requires that a Spanish language version of OSHA standards be made available within three years of
The Puerto Rico Act provides for, among other things, inspections in response to employee complaints;
an opportunity for employer and employee representatives to accompany inspectors in order to aid inspections; notification of employees or their
representatives when no compliance action is taken as a result of a complaint; notification of employees of their protections and obligations;
protection for employees against discharge or discrimination in terms and conditions of employment; adequate safeguards to protect trade secrets;
sanctions against employers for violations of standards and orders; and review of citations by a hearing examiner, with appeal to the Secretary of
Labor and the Commonwealth's courts.
The plan also proposes a program of voluntary compliance by employers and employees, including a
provision for onsite consultation.
The Puerto Rico Plan includes the following documents as of the date of approval:
The plan description documents, in two volumes.
A copy of the enabling legislation as enacted on July 7, 1975, and signed by the Governor on August
An assurance of separability of the enforcement personnel from the hearing examiner.
A letter of assurance of the authenticity of the English version of the Puerto Rico OSHA Act from
John Cinque Sacarello, Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health, Puerto Rico Department of Labor, dated December 4, 1975.