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OSHA grants initial approval of Massachusetts State Plan for public-sector workers

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Washington — A State Plan covering Massachusetts’ state and local government employees is now a reality after OSHA announced its initial approval.

Effective Aug. 18 and to be administered by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards, the plan will cover more than 430,000 employees, OSHA says in an Aug. 17 press release. Massachusetts is now one of seven states or territories to administer plans for only state and local government workers, joining Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York and the Virgin Islands. Twenty-two states and territories have a full State Plan, which covers state and local government workers in addition to private-sector workers.

Massachusetts’ private-sector workers and federal government employees in the state will remain covered under federal OSHA.

“Massachusetts’ new State Plan is a milestone for its public employees and the state’s development of its occupational safety and health program,” OSHA administrator Doug Parker said in the release. “We commend them for their ongoing commitment to the well-being of government workers who provide vital services to make the state of Massachusetts livable and enjoyable.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 doesn’t cover state and local government employees, but allows for states to assume responsibility for protecting those workers.

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