August 18, 2022

Federal OSHA Grants Initial Approval of Massachusetts State Plan

OSHA has granted initial approval of a new occupational safety and health plan to protect Massachusetts’ state and local government workers. The plan, which took effect today, Aug. 18, covers more than 430,000 employees of Massachusetts and its political subdivisions. Federal OSHA’s initial approval makes Massachusetts the newest state plan that covers state and local government workers; the states of Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York as well as the United States territory of the Virgin Islands already have plans intended to protect employees of state and local government. According to OSHA’s press release, the new plan will be administered by the Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards. Massachusetts employees working in the private sector and federal government will remain under the jurisdiction of federal OSHA.

The decision to grant the Massachusetts state plan initial approval is based on OSHA’s determination that the plan meets its approval criteria or will meet the criteria for approving state plans within three years. According to federal 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’s decision also means that Massachusetts’ state plan is eligible to receive funding from the Department of Labor's budget for fiscal year 2022.

Details regarding OSHA’s determination are outlined in the Federal Register.

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. More information on state plans can be found on OSHA’s website.