Hawaii takes drastic measures to keep state occupational safety, health plan alive
Posted July 26, 2012
Hawaii, like 26 other states, administers an occupational safety and health state plan approved by federal OSHA. However, during the past three years, this state-plan state has faced major budgetary and hiring restraints that have significantly affected its program. The impacts of the reduced staffing level and economic situation were clearly reflected in the deficiencies identified throughout recent OSHA monitoring reports. Although joint efforts were made by federal OSHA and Hawaii to address these issues, Hawaii continues to face severe programmatic, staffing and training issues. As a result, Hawaii requested assistance from federal OSHA to enable greater enforcement presence in the state to ensure adequate worker protection while allow Hawaii sufficient time to strengthen and improve its state plan performance.
In order for federal OSHA to be able to provide this assistance, however, Hawaii's plan approval status must be modified from final approval to initial approval — a status that Hawaii first held on December 28, 1973. During the phase of initial state plan approval status, federal OSHA regains authority to enforce federal OSHA requirements as a supplement to state plan enforcement.
To ensure that all relevant information, views, and data are available to the Assistant Secretary during this proceeding, OSHA is soliciting written comments and requests for an informal hearing, which must be received by August 23, 2012. Note that requests for an informal hearing, which will be scheduled if the Assistant Secretary finds that substantial issues are raised that necessitate a hearing.
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