New Jersey has become the newest state to receive approval from OSHA to administer its own occupational safety and health plan for public employees.
New Jersey joins Connecticut and New York as one of three states authorized by OSHA to offer a safety and health program specifically for public employees.
The New Jersey plan is the first new state plan since New York was added in 1984.
Twenty-three other states have OSHA-approved plans for the private sector that extend coverage to state and local government employees.
"We applaud the state of New Jersey for their ongoing commitment to the safety and health of their public employees," said OSHA Administrator Charles Jeffress. "It''s a pleasure to recognize their accomplishment and welcome them as our newest state partner."
The plan will be administered by the New Jersey Department of Labor with the Department of Health and Senior Services having responsibility for conducting health inspection.
The program covers more than 470,000 public employees, including approximately 112,900 state government workers and roughly 357,100 municipal employees.
Private employees remain under the jurisdiction of federal OSHA.
New Jersey has adopted standards identical to most federal OSHA safety and health standards and has committed to bring all of its standards into line with OSHA requirements.
The state plan also provides that future OSHA standards and revisions will be adopted by the state.
by Virginia Sutcliffe