(from Honolulu Civil Beat) Hawaii is starting to get its act together when it comes to workplace safety and the feds are taking notice.
The Obama administration is letting the state reassume responsibility for regulating manufacturing industries, according to an announcement Friday.
Here’s the news:
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division have shared regulatory responsibility for Hawaii per an agreement that clearly divides enforcement responsibilities. The Operational Status Agreement (OSA) went into effect last September and was designed to jointly rebuild and strengthen the safety and health regulatory environment in Hawaii. The OSA, a procedural agreement, provides a roadmap for how the OSHA and DLIR’s HIOSH will work together to meet safety and health goals and assure safe and healthful working conditions for Hawaii’s workers.
“By continuing to work together closely with OSHA, and in partnership with employers, we are on track in rebuilding the HIOSH program. A strong HIOSH not only lowers injury and illness rates, but also improves the overall work environment and accountability,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “This Administration is committed to restoring the state’s ability to assure workplace safety and health.”
The agreement suspended HIOSH’s enforcement authority in specific industries where OSHA assumed responsibility for enforcement until the State is able to be “at least as effective” as OSHA. The partnership allows OSHA to commit the resources and staff necessary to provide the training and support, which will enable HIOSH to reassume sole enforcement authority in the State. HIOSH will progressively resume authority over industries as it rebuilds capacity during the three-year period outlined in the agreement. The return of the Manufacturing sector to HIOSH jurisdiction is the first sector that was scheduled in the OSA to return to HIOSH. (continue reading)