July 7, 2022

Federal OSHA Proposes Approval of Massachusetts State Plan

OSHA proposes to approve a new occupational safety and health plan that would cover Massachusetts’ state and local government employers and their employees, according to a proposed rulemaking published in the Federal Register on June 30. The agency also proposes to fund initial approval of the state plan from funding available in the Department of Labor’s budget for fiscal year 2022. If approved, Massachusetts would become the newest state plan. State plans are OSHA-approved workplace safety and health programs operated by individual states or U.S. territories. They are monitored by federal OSHA, which provides up to 50 percent of each program’s funding.

OSHA’s preliminary assessment of the developmental state plan submitted by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards is that the plan meets federal OSHA’s approval criteria or will meet the criteria for approving state plans within three years. According to OSHA, Massachusetts has also provided “adequate assurances that it will be at least as effective as federal OSHA” in protecting workers covered by the plan. OSHA estimates that the Massachusetts state plan would cover 6,500 public sector employers and nearly 434,000 public employees.

Federal OSHA has opened a public comment period during which interested individuals can provide feedback regarding its proposed approval of the Massachusetts state plan. Comments are due by Aug. 1, 2022. Supplementary information and instructions for submitting comments are available in the Federal Register.

Further details can be found in a press release published by federal OSHA.