Maine Joins New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois as Newest State Plan Protecting State and Local Employees
OSHA recently approved Maine as the newest State Plan responsible for protecting the safety and health of state and local government employees. Under the approved plan, the Maine Department of Labor is designated as the state agency responsible for the development and enforcement of occupational safety and health standards applicable to state and local government employment throughout the state. OSHA retains full authority for coverage of private sector employees in the State of Maine, as well as for coverage of federal government employees.
Maine joins New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, and the Virgin Islands as one of six states and territories that administer safety and health programs for state and local government employees. According to a press release from the United States Department of Labor, twenty-four states still do not provide federally approved workplace safety and health protections for its public employees.
Section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and 29 C.F.R. 667 provide that a state which desires to assume responsibility for the development and enforcement of standards relating to any occupational safety and health issue to which a federal standard has been promulgated may submit a State Plan to the Assistant Secretary of Labor documenting the proposed plan in detail. Under these regulations, a State Plan will be approved only if the standards relating to hazards in employment “are or will be at least as effective in providing safe and healthful employment . . . as standards promulgated and enforced under Section 6 of the OSH Act.”
OSHA will fund up to 50 percent of the program’s cost.