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March 2023: OSHA Withdraws Proposal to Revoke Arizona’s State Plan

08 Mar

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of Arizona

What happened?
On February 14, 2023, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it would withdraw its proposal to reconsider and revoke Arizona’s State Plan.

What are the details?
Arizona is one of 22 states and territories with its own State Plan covering private, state, and local government workers. State Plans are OSHA-approved job safety and health programs operated by individual states rather than federal OSHA. Although individual states run these State Plans, OSHA will monitor these State Plans to ensure that they are at least as effective as the federal OSHA program.

In April 2022, OSHA issued a proposed rule to revoke its final approval of Arizona’s State Plan according to Section 18(e) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. In support of this proposal, the agency detailed its past efforts to ensure that certain standards contained in the Arizona State Plan were at least as effective as federal OSHA standards. OSHA further alleged that the then-current penalty levels outlined in Arizona’s State Plan were not as effective as federal OSHA’s and that Arizona’s State Plan had not adopted the requirements outlined in federal OSHA’s June 21, 2021, COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) applicable to the healthcare industry.

In response, the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) and the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) submitted a comment outlining the measures they had taken to address OSHA’s concerns with their safety and health program. These measures included, among other things, adopting rules on beryllium in construction and shipyards, cranes and derricks in construction as well as railroad roadway work; passing recent legislation tying ADOSH penalties to corresponding federal OSHA penalties; passing additional legislation authorizing adoption of an ETS when either the ICA or OSHA deems the grave danger criteria met; and adopting the recordkeeping and COVID-19 log requirements in OSHA’s COVID-19 Healthcare ETS as a permanent standard.

Based on these representations, OSHA withdrew its proposal to reconsider the final approval status of Arizona’s State Plan. This means that the Arizona State Plan will remain in place, and ADOSH will continue to oversee the State’s safety and health program.

The withdrawal became effective on February 15, 2023.

For more information, please see the links below:

OSHA News Release

Federal Register Article

Article

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and be on the lookout for any more news regarding proposals from OSHA.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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