August 19, 2022

Fed OSHA Postpones Decision on Revoking AZ OSH-State Plan

On August 10, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it is reopening the comment period for an additional 60 days on its proposal to reconsider and revoke the final approval of Arizona’s State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health (State Plan). A public hearing tentatively scheduled for Aug. 16, 2022 has also been postponed.

As reported here, on April 21, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor published a notice of Proposed Reconsideration and Revocation of Arizona’s State Plan.  Initially granted final approval in 1985, the State Plan, if revoked, would revert to initial approval with a resumption of Federal authority for discretionary concurrent enforcement, allowing OSHA the authority to ensure that private sector employees in Arizona are receiving protections that are at least as effective as those afforded to employees covered by OSHA.

Revocation efforts were initiated after OSHA detailed a “history of shortcomings in the Arizona state plan,” including  Arizona’s failure to adopt OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for healthcare workers as an “emergency” rule.

The Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) and its sub-agency, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH), submitted comments on July 5, 2022, the last day of the public comment period stating they completed a number of measures to address concerns OSHA identified in the proposal, including adoption of the increase in maximum penalty amounts and adoption of standards and enforcement directives that were past due.