OSHA threatens to revoke Arizona's control of workplace safety oversight

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Posted at 8:58 AM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 11:58:17-04

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Wednesday that it is considering revoking Arizona’s ability to regulate its own workplace safety rules, saying the state has “routinely failed” to protect workers in the past decade.

OSHA released a proposal on Wednesday, outlining its reasons for stripping oversight authority from the Industrial Commission of Arizona, which oversees the state’s safety plan. OSHA said Arizona has failed to adopt adequate maximum penalty levels and occupational safety and health standards, among other deficiencies.

This is the latest development in a conflict that started last October, after OSHA threatened to strip Utah, South Carolina and Arizona of their enforcement authority after the three states failed to adopt the Covid-19 Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard, which included requiring protective equipment for workers but did not include a vaccine mandate.

Arizona is one of 28 states and territories with an OSHA-approved state plan, meaning OSHA monitors state-level regulators like ICA, which must be at least as effective as OSHA in protecting workers and in preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. OSHA is the oversight authority in the other states without a state plan.

Arizona’s state plan covers people working in private companies as well as those in state and local government workplaces.

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.