On Safety

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Federal Annual Monitoring and Evaluation Reports: Hawaii

April 6, 2015
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Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health
Initial approval date: Dec. 28, 1973
Program certification date: April 26, 1978
Final approval date: April 30, 1984
Final approval voluntarily withdrawn: Sept. 21, 2012

Every year, OSHA evaluates each of the 27 State Plan states and territories. Today, we’re looking at the federal agency’s review of Hawaii.

Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health suffered a setback a few years ago when it wasn’t able to maintain enough staff or conduct enough inspections. As a result, the state and federal agencies entered into an agreement where federal OSHA would take over some of the state’s duties while HIOSH makes internal improvements.

In OSHA’s fiscal year 2013 report on HIOSH, the federal agency observes Hawaii has made improvements and regained much of its enforcement authority. However, HIOSH needs to improve its implementation of policies and regulations, and the hiring and retaining of qualified personnel remains a problem for the state agency.

Of the 16 recommendations OSHA made in 2012, the state completed six, including:

  • Improve response time of complaints to within two work days
  • Assign inspections for compliance staff in such a way to maximize resources
  • Ensure health inspectors conduct appropriate sampling during inspections

In addition to the 10 recommendations from 2012 being carried over, federal OSHA issued six new recommendations in its FY 2013 report. Those new recommendations include:

  • Ensure abatement verification of serious, willful and repeat violations
  • Follow procedures in investigations of discrimination complaints
  • Develop and document methods used to target high-hazard industries for inspections

Percent of HIOSH inspections where serious, willful or repeat violations were issued:

Safety
FY 2011 – 56%
FY 2012 – 58%
FY 2013 – 81%
Three-year State Plan national rate – 57%

Health
FY 2011 – 89%
FY 2012 – 52%
FY 2013 – 75%
Three-year State Plan national rate – 54%

Average HIOSH initial penalty per serious violation
FY 2011 – $1,118
FY 2012 – $1,278
FY 2013 – $1,305
Three-year national average – $2,245

The opinions expressed in "On Safety" do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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