The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration 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.
The U.S. Department of Labor announced a proposal in May to reconsider and revoke final approval of Arizona’s State OSHA plan, which the department says is in response to nearly a long “pattern of failures” to adopt and enforce standards and enforcement policies that are at least as effective as those used by the department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Further notice of the actions are expected to be published in the Federal Register within the next few days. OSHA plans to 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 then.
State plans are OSHA-approved job safety and health programs operated by states. The OSH Act encourages states to develop and operate their programs. OSHA approves and monitors all state plans, and provides up to 50% of each program’s funding.
According to the department, OSHA 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.
An example the department gave was that Arizona has failed to adopt adequate maximum penalty levels, occupational safety and health standards, National Emphasis Programs and – most recently – the COVID-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard.
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