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Maine’s State Plan for state and local government workers gets OSHA approval


Photo: DenisTangneyJr/iStockphoto

Washington — OSHA has certified a revised State Plan for Maine that covers state and local government workers.

Maine began working on its State Plan in 2012, but OSHA determined that state’s statutes and the proposed plan “needed minor changes” to meet the agency’s criteria for allowing states to operate their own workplace safety and health programs. After revisions to those statutes were completed, OSHA approved Maine as a developmental State Plan in 2015. About five years later, Maine submitted its revised State Plan and noted its completion of all 10 steps in the developmental program.

The Maine State Plan is one of seven (including the Virgin Islands) that cover safety and health for state and local government workers. Twenty-two other State Plans cover private-sector workers as well. Once a plan is approved, OSHA provides up to half of the funding.

Administered by the Maine Department of Labor’s Workplace Safety and Health Division, the plan covers an estimated 2,400 employers and about 80,000 workers, OSHA says in a March 21 press release. The plan also covers volunteers who are “under the direction of a state and local government employer.”

The plan doesn’t cover federal government workers, including postal service employees and civilians working on military bases. Federal OSHA oversees the safety and health of those workers, as well as private-sector workers in the state.

“Certifying Maine’s State Plan marks a major milestone for the state’s public employees, and for the development of the state’s occupational safety and health program,” OSHA administrator Doug Parker said in the release. “The State of Maine’s commitment to providing state government workers the same workplace safety protections as those given to private-sector workers is commendable.”

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