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Changes coming to OSHA regions

Photo: OSHA

Washington — OSHA plans to open a new regional office, merge two of its regions and rename its regional offices.

These changes are expected to be finalized before Oct. 1.

The new regional office – located in Birmingham, AL – will oversee agency efforts in Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, the Florida Panhandle and its home state. 

“The Birmingham Region will address the area’s growing worker population and the hazardous work done by people employed in food processing, construction, heavy manufacturing and chemical processing,” OSHA says in a May 8 press release announcing the changes.

The numbered designations for regions are going away. Instead, OSHA will refer to each region by its home-office location

For example, Region 6 will be known as the Dallas Region. It will oversee agency efforts in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Also, with the addition of the Birmingham office, the Atlanta Region will oversee OSHA activities in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as the rest of Florida not under the new office’s oversight.

Regions 9 and 10 will merge into what will be known as the San Francisco Region “to improve operations and reduce operating costs.” Seven of the eight states in those two regions are State Plan states

“The changes reflect the nation’s demographic and industrial changes since the passage of the [Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970] and will allow our professionals to better respond to the needs of all workers, including those historically underserved,” OSHA administrator Doug Parker said. “With a stronger enforcement presence in the South and more consolidated state oversight and whistleblower presence in the West – an area dominated by states that operate their OSHA programs – we can direct our resources where they’re needed most.” 

Once the changes are finalized, OSHA will update its website to show the new regional maps and contact information.

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