OSHA reopens comment period on its proposal to revoke Arizona’s State Plan status

First published by OSHA OSHA reopen proposal Arizona State Plan

OSHA reopens comment period on its proposal to revoke Arizona’s State Plan status

OSHA postpones online hearing scheduled for Aug. 16

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA is reopening the comment period for an additional 60 days on the proposal to reconsider and revoke the final approval of Arizona’s State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health. The agency is also postponing the public hearing tentatively scheduled for Aug. 16, 2022. OSHA reopen proposal Arizona State Plan

Further notice of these actions will be published in the Federal Register within the next few days. OSHA will review all comments on the proposal, including any submitted during the reopening of the comment period. Further decisions about scheduling a hearing are suspended until that time.

In April, the Department of Labor issued the proposal in response to the Arizona State Plan’s nearly decade-long pattern of failures to adopt and enforce standards and enforcement policies at least as effective as those used by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) and its sub-agency, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH), submitted a comment on the proposal on July 5, 2022, the last day of the comment period. ICA and ADOSH stated that they completed a number of measures to address concerns OSHA identified in the proposal, including adoption of the increase in maximum penalty amounts and adoption of standards and enforcement directives that were past due. The Federal Register notice will include a list of Arizona’s completed measures.

The additional 60-day comment period will allow stakeholders the opportunity to comment on ADOSH’s actions and the impact those actions should have on OSHA’s proposed revocation of the State Plan’s final approval. After the Federal Register notice is published, stakeholders will be able to submit comments online using Docket No. OSHA-2021-0012 on the Federal eRulemaking Portal. OSHA reopen proposal Arizona State Plan

McCraren Compliance assists employers in protecting their workers, starting with a comprehensive Work-site Analysis, Hazard Prevention, Controls, and Safety & Health Training.

Please contact us today at 888-758-4757 to learn how we can provide mine safety training and consulting for your business.

Three states at risk of losing OSHA State Plan status over COVID-19 rules: reports

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

See the source image Image result for arizona flag map  See the source image

Washington — OSHA has warned Arizona, South Carolina and Utah to adopt their own version of the agency’s emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 for health care workers or face possible revocation of their State Plan status, according to multiple reports.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 permits OSHA to grant approval to states that want to manage their own workplace safety and health program. One stipulation for approval, however, is that the states’ safety standards are “at least as effective” as federal standards. State standards can be stricter than federal OSHA’s standards but not weaker.

OSHA issued the ETS in June, and most of OSHA’s State Plans, along with Puerto Rico, have followed suit. Under the ETS, State Plan programs were to have adopted the rules by July 21. Arizona, South Carolina and Utah have not met the deadline. OSHA reportedly has sent “courtesy letters” to notify the states of the agency’s intent to begin the revocation process and place them back under federal jurisdiction.

The next step is publication, in the Federal Register, of OSHA’s proposed revocation of State Plan status (for each state) followed by a 35-day comment period, according to a document posted on former OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Jordan Barab’s website, Confined Space.

Barab writes that the agency’s action is “a shot across the bow of any state that is considering not adopting the forthcoming OSHA ETS” on COVID-19 vaccination/testing. That ETS will apply to employers with at least 100 workers to ensure full vaccination or weekly negative testing of their workforce. It is undergoing a required review by the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

“This is clearly a preemptive strike by the federal government,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) posted on his Twitter account. “With no state regulators in the way, the federal Labor Department will be free to penalize employers who do not comply with President Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate.”

In a follow-up post, McMaster notes that he has instructed the director of the state’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation “to begin immediate preparations for a vigorous and lengthy legal fight.”

In an Oct. 19 press release, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) indicates that he, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts (R) and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) sent a letter to Labor Secretary Marty Walsh on July 21 to address their concerns about the health care-related ETS.

“States do not have regulatory authority to require employers to pay their employees sick leave,” Cox says in the release.

In a separate Oct. 19 release, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) called OSHA’s warning “nothing short of a political stunt” and a “desperate power grab.”

Ducey says the Industrial Commission of Arizona is “actively engaged in a public input process” on a state ETS on COVID-19 and vows to fight any revocation of its State Plan status. In 2017, Arizona and OSHA tussled over ICA’s reclassification of violations and reduction in penalties for certain employers.

McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.