OSHA releases State Plan reviews

September 30, 2010

OSHA this week released a long-awaited series of reports evaluating 25 state- or territory-run occupational safety and health programs.

The Enhanced Federal Annual Monitoring and Evaluation reports highlight several problems found in the State Plan states, including lack of funding, inappropriate classification of violations and poor follow-up inspections. The reports also outline areas in which states issued standards or procedures that surpass federal OSHA efforts.

The evaluations were prompted by a special report issued last year that highlighted operational deficiencies in Nevada's OSH program. The Nevada report was submitted following a series of high-profile, mostly construction-related incidents and worker deaths. EFAME reports were not written for Illinois (which was approved for State Plan status a year ago) and Nevada.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act gives states the option of implementing their own OSH program. According to the law, State Plans must be "at least as effective" as federal OSHA. Up to half the funding for state programs may be provided by the federal government.