OSHA Wants Your Thoughts on Plans for Workplace Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has approved a number of State Plans, and now they want to hear your thoughts on them.

At an informal stakeholder meeting scheduled for June 25, 2012, OSHA will be taking comments, encouraging suggestions, and holding forums on the new State Plans.  They want to know whether you think they’re as good as the federal safety and health regulations that were created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

What is a State Plan?

In addition to setting federal workplace safety and health standards, giving OSHA the power to enforce those standards, and establishing training programs for both employers and employees, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 also encourages individual states to come up with their own plans to make sure that workplaces are safe.  OSHA is responsible for approving each State Plan, and the main requirement is that each state program is “at least as effective” as the federal standards.

So far, OSHA has approved 27 state plans.  Most of them apply to workers in both the private and public sectors.  However, five of the plans only cover employees in the public sector.

Right now, OSHA is working with the Department of Labor and officials who worked on each approved State Plan to create a system for OSHA to monitor and evaluate each State Plan’s effectiveness.  You’ll be able to check out the details of that system on OSHA’s website before the June meeting.

If you’re interested in attending the meeting — either as a stakeholder or as a non-participating observer — you’ll need to email, fax, or mail a letter to OSHA before June 11th.  Even if you can’t make it in person, you’ll have a chance to submit written comments before the meeting.

As for the meeting itself, it will be held on June 25th, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., N.W., Room N-3437, Washington, DC 20210.  For more information, visit OSHA’s website.

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