OSHA Proposes to Revoke Final Approval of Arizona’s State OSHA Plan
In tomorrow’s Federal Register, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will publish a notice proposing to reconsider and revoke final approval of Arizona’s State OSHA plan. State plans are OSHA-approved job safety and health programs operated by individual states rather than federal OSHA. The OSH Act encourages states to develop and operate their programs and OSHA approves and monitors all state plans and provides up to 50 percent of each program’s funding.
OSHA states that it proposing to reconsider and revoke its approval of Arizona’s state plan “in response to nearly a decade-long patter of failures to adopt and enforce standards and enforcement policies at least as effective as those used by federal OSHA.” OSHA said it has grown increasingly concerned that actions by the Arizona State OSHA Plan suggest the state is either unable or unwilling to maintain its commitment to provide a program for worker safety and health protection as the OSH Act requires. As examples, OSHA cited Arizona’s failure to adopt adequate maximum penalty levels, occupational safety and health standards, National Emphasis Programs, and—most recently—the COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard.
If OSHA determines that Arizona’s state plan is failing to comply with its obligation to remain at least as effective as OSHA, the agency may initiate proceedings to revoke final approval, and reinstate federal concurrent authority over occupational safety and health issues covered by the state plan.
Comments on the proposal are due by May 26, 2022 and can be submitted here using Docket No. OSHA-2021-0012. OSHA will also hold an online hearing on August 16, 2022 at 10am ET. Individuals interest in testifying or questioning witnesses must submit a notice of their intention here by May 11, 2022.
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