US Department of Labor certifies Maine’s completion of developmental steps of occupational safety, health plan for state, local government workers
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced that its Occupational Safety and Health Administration has certified the completion of all structural and developmental aspects of Maine’s State Plan for protecting the safety and health of state and local government workers.
OSHA’s certification took effect on March 21, 2023, and verifies that Maine has satisfactorily completed all of the plan’s required aspects and attests that the state has all structural components needed in place for a state plan covering state and local government workers. The agency first approved Maine’s State Plan as a developmental state plan in August 2015.
“Certifying Maine’s State Plan marks a major milestone for the state’s public employees, and for the development of the state’s occupational safety and health program,” said Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health Doug Parker. “The State of Maine’s commitment to providing state government workers the same workplace safety protections as those given to private sector workers is commendable.”
Maine is one of seven state plans, including New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and the Virgin Islands, that administer safety and health programs for state and local government workers only. There are also 22 state plans that cover private sector, as well as state and local government workers.
Administered by the Maine Department of Labor’s Workplace Safety and Health Division, its state plan covers approximately 2,400 state and local government employers and nearly 80,000 workers in state, county and local governments and quasi-municipal agencies. The plan also covers volunteers under the direction of a state or local government employer.
The Maine State Plan does not cover federal government workers, including those employed by the U.S. Postal Service and civilian workers on military bases. The federal OSHA program covers these employers as well as those employed by private sector employers in the state.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and 29 CFR Part 1956 allow states and territories to establish plans that cover only state and local government workers, and those workers who are excluded from federal coverage. Once a state plan is approved, OSHA funds up to 50 percent of the program’s costs.