OSHA Certifies New York State Plan for Public Employees

OSHA is giving the green light to the state of New York's occupational safety and health plan for its public employees.

This certification reflects OSHA's determination that all developmental commitments have been met and that the state's plan is structurally complete.

"This is a major milestone for the state of New York in the development of its occupational safety and health program," said OSHA Administrator Edwin Foulke Jr. "We congratulate them on this accomplishment and for their ongoing commitment to the safety and health of their public employees."

OSHA's certification indicates the state plan contains all the necessary structural elements (standards, statutory and regulatory authorities and procedures) to operate a program for its public employees that is "at least as effective" as the federal program. Absent a state plan, state and local government employees are not covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

New York's state plan is administered by the New York Department of Labor, Division of Occupational Safety and Health, Public Employee Safety and Health program and covers nearly 1.3 million state and local government employees.

OSHA encourages states to develop and operate their own safety and health programs. While most state plans cover both private-sector and public-sector employees, New York is one of four jurisdictions that cover only public sector employees; the others are Connecticut, New Jersey and the Virgin Islands.

Private-sector enforcement authority in the state of New York remains the responsibility of federal OSHA.

Notice of OSHA's approval of plan supplements and certification of the New York state plan for public employees was published in the Aug. 16 Federal Register.

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