How State Programs Help to Ensure Safe and Healthful Workplaces
1999 Report from OSHSPA
The Occupational Safety and
Health State Plan Association
State Plan Programs Covering Both Private and Public Sector
(21 states and two territories)
State Plan Programs Covering Public Sector Only
(Private Sector Coverage Provided by Federal OSHA)
State Covered by Federal OSHA
(29 states and the District of Columbia)
(Private Sector Only The Act does not provide the authority to cover public sector employees)
District of Columbia
*State Plan application in process
What Is a State Plan?
States and territories may elect to develop their own unique occupational safety and health program.
These "state plans" are approved and monitored by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration,
which provides up to 50 percent of an approved plans operating costs. A state plan program, including the job
safety and health standards which employers are required to meet, must be "at least as effective" as OSHA.
Benefits of a state plan include coverage for public sector employees, and the opportunity to promulgate unique standards
or to develop innovative programs which address the types of hazards specific to each states workplaces.
What Is OSHSPA?
The Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association (OSHSPA) links the 25 state plan
jurisdictions, federal agencies with occupational safety and health jurisdiction, and Congress. The group holds three
meetings a year, giving state programs the opportunity to address common problems and share information. It also provides
information to states or territories that are considering application for state plan status. OSHSPA representatives have
appeared before congressional committees and other bodies to report on job safety and health issues.
The OSHSPA Board of Directors would like to thank the state occupational safety and health programs
for providing updates to the 1999 Grassroots Worker Protection report.The board and the
state programs would like to thank the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries for editing, designing and
producing the 1999 report. In particular, we want to thank staff members of WISHA Services, including:
Steve Cant, CIH, Federal-State Operations Manager
Janet Kenney, Management Analyst
Sharon Hills, Administrative Assistant
Kathy Sortor, Word Processing Specialist
and the Public Affairs program, including:
Jim Knutsen, Graphic Designer
This report may be reprinted or photocopied for distribution. To request copies of this report,
contact the state plan program in your state or territory. Contact information is included at the end of this
report.The report is posted on the L&I web site at http://www.wa.gov/lni/wisha/(Artwork and photos are copyright protected.)
U.S. Department of Labor
Assistant Secretary for
Occupational Safety and Health
Washington, D.C. 20210
February 19, 1999
After more than a year as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, I believe now more than ever in
the importance of the Federal-State partnership in administering the national OSHA program. Our 25 State partners cover 40
percent of the nation's workforce, and the strength and vitality of our unique relationship continue to grow.
During the past year, the 25 State plans have worked with OSHA in developing their own individual Five-Year Strategic and Fiscal
Year 1999 Annual Performance plans. This initiative is the cornerstone of a new way of doing business - one where we are better
positioned to identify the means by which we most effectively can address workplace injuries and illnesses and gauge our
successes. All of us now are focusing our efforts on our own results-oriented goals. Some State plans have adopted their own
individualized approaches; others have followed the OSHA approach. But we all share one common. goal, which is to: "Improve
workplace safety and health for all workers, as evidenced by fewer hazards, reduced exposures, and fewer injuries, illnesses and
Through strategic and performance planning, we are finding that there are many roads to achieving the same goal; and, by
measuring outcomes and holding ourselves accountable, we will ensure success in providing the best possible protection to
America's workers. This 1999 edition of the Occupational Safety and Health State Plan Association's Grassroots Worker
Protection publication again highlights the major contribution that the States make to the national occupational safety and
health effort as well as the many unique and innovative programs they have undertaken.
The 25 states and territories which operate state plan programs share a common goal: a safe and healthful
workplace for every worker through prevention of on-the-job injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Sharing the mission of the U.S.
Department of Labors Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), they take responsibility for developing and
enforcing occupational safety and health standards in their jurisdiction. These state and territorial programs cover 40 percent
of the nations workforce, conducting enforcement inspections and providing consultative services. They also conduct free
training and education programs, encouraging employers and employees to use safe and healthful work practices.
Section 18 of the federal OSH Act of 1970 says that "Any State which, at any time, desires to assume responsibility for
development and enforcement therein of occupational safety and health standards relating to any occupational safety and health
issue with respect to which a Federal standard has been promulgated under section 6 shall submit a State plan for the
development of such standards and their enforcement." State standards and their enforcement must be "at least as
effective" as OSHA in promoting safe and healthy working conditions.
This map shows the states covered by federal OSHA (dark green) and the states and territories with state
plan programs (light green). Connecticut and New York (white) supplement their private sector OSHA coverage with public sector
coverage under a state plan agreement. New Jersey is developing a public sector state plan to supplement its private sector OSHA
As early as the 19th century, states created laws for worker safety. Soon after statehood was granted in
1837, Michigan adopted worker safety laws, and started a factory inspection program in 1893. Massachusetts issued
occupational safety rules around 1875. Iowa began collecting worker injury and illness statistics in 1884, and also began
inspecting factories in an attempt to reduce accidents. In 1889, Washington built worker protection into the states
constitution, requiring the legislature to "pass necessary laws for the protection of persons working in mines, factories
and other employments dangerous to life or deleterious to health; and fix pains and penalties for the enforcement of the
same." California began operating a safety enforcement program in 1913. Oregon adopted a workers
compensation law in 1913, which included provisions for the inspection of certain hazardous industries.
In 1936 the federal government passed the Walsh-Healey Act, providing some protection to workers performing government
contracts. The Williams-Steiger Act of 1970 (better known as the OSH Act), provided nationwide standards for the occupational
safety and health of Americas private sector workforce. Yet, many states had already established a long history of
addressing worker safety and health. The OSH Act included a provision allowing states to operate safety and health programs.
In fact, because of states efforts at developing innovative programs to address the specific occupational hazards found
in their geographical region, and because all state plans are required to the extent allowed by state or territorial law to
provide coverage to the public sector, state and territorial OSH programs have a unique opportunity to provide a high level
of protection to all employees in their jurisdiction.
"It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous
state may serve as a laboratory and try novel social and economic experiments..."
U.S. Supreme Court Justice,
Justice Brandeis quote is the hallmark of state plan philosophy. Innovations are the heart of state
plans. States have dedicated their resources to developing their own unique programs, becoming pioneers of innovative
occupational safety and health concepts. OSHA has shown willingness to be a follower as well as a leader by expanding some of
the tools developed and proved by states to the national level. This report describes just some of the many innovations and
protections developed and implemented by state and territorial programs.
Targeting Through Data. The foundation of an effective program is the
ability to target workplaces that have the most hazardous conditions. State plans use a variety of data sources to direct their
enforcement and consultation efforts toward establishments at risk, and those actually experiencing injuries and illnesses that
may be prevented by compliance with safety and health standards. Site specific claims history rather than industry-wide data is
a better indicator of which employers may have safety and health deficiencies.
Text Version of Chart: FY 98 Onsite Visits by Type
Type: Pie Chart
Graph Elements: 3 - Pie segments by type of visit based on the number of visits.
Total Compliance Visits = 55,563, 67.1%
Total Consultation Visits = 14,918, 18%
Total Training & Education Programs = 12,344, 14.9%
Washington was the first state in the nation to have both an exclusive state-fund workers compensation system as
well as an OSH program (WISHA) within the same agency. This provides an unequaled opportunity to use injury, illness and claims
data to identify hazardous industries and problem employers. WISHA targets employers for services coordinated by enforcement,
consultation, education and training, and risk management. In 1994, Wyomings state plan operation combined with
its workers compensation system, allowing it to target based on site specific information. Wyoming uses data such as
experience modification rating, loss ratio (claims payments compared to premiums), and the number of claims compared to size of
employment to schedule compliance visits.
Oregons Department of Consumer and Business Services administers workers compensation laws, a non-exclusive
state fund, and workplace safety and health programs. OR-OSHA merges workers compensation claim data with state employment
data, targeting employers with accidents for workplace inspections. Utahs Labor Commission administers a
workers compensation system and non-exclusive state-fund, resulting in accessible information for effective targeting of
industries and employers. Vermont uses workers compensation data to
develop a safety inspection schedule, using information on the total number of injuries, the number of lost time injuries,
and employment at the firm. North Carolina and Arizona have also developed inspection targeting programs which
use workers compensation data to identify those individual employers with high rates of claims. Michigan pioneered a
general industry safety inspection scheduling program that relies on survey data as well as establishment specific injury
Text Version of Chart: FY 98 Compliance Inspections by Type
Type: Horizontal Bar Graph
Graph Elements: 8 - Segments by type of inspection based on the number of visits.
Safety Inspections = 43,758
Health Inspections = 11,824
Accidents = 3,724
Complaints = 11,906
Referrals = 3,183
Scheduled = 30,862
Follow-up = 2,799
Other = 2,789
Local Emphasis Programs. In 1997, Minnesota OSHA initiated a local emphasis program to address
perchloroethylene exposures in industry. A number of companies were randomly selected for inspection from a list of drycleaners
and other industries reporting large use of perchloroethylene to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. In 1998, Minnesota
added a local emphasis program for automobile body repair shops following a review of IMIS (Integrated Management Information
System) data which revealed that more than half of all automobile repair shops inspected by Minnesota had received a citation,
and that most of the citations were for multiple violations. Hazards most frequently found in auto body shops include
isocyanate exposures, flammability hazards, and deficient spray booths.
In 1995, Puerto Ricos PROSHO started a local emphasis program (LEP) for toxic gas release to identify and provide
assistance to those employers whose industrial activities expose or may expose employees to serious toxic gas related hazards.
Under PROSHOs 1999 annual performance plan, LEPs will be started for trenching and excavation, tunneling and urban trains.
Indiana has implemented an LEP on scaffolding that has proved to be very successful in identifying and controlling
hazards. The typical scaffold LEP inspection now has four times the average number of serious violations compared to previous
Cooperative Compliance Programs.In 1998, Virginia implemented the Virginia Compliance
Alternative Partnerships (CAP) program. The program targets employers with the highest workplace injury and illness rates,
seeking cooperative agreements with employers to work toward the goal of a safer and more healthful workplace. A pilot program
was tested in the summer, and the program is being refined with input from Virginias business and labor communities.
Minnesota implemented the Minnesota First program in 1996 for high injury rate employers with 100 or more employees.
The program combines the core elements of partnership, employee involvement, and safety and health program development toward
a goal of reducing injuries, illnesses, and hazards in the inspected workplaces. Employers who develop an action plan and
improve their safety and health program are eligible for penalty reductions of up to 70 percent, a two year exemption from
general schedule inspections, and access to a safety and health consultant for the length of the action plan. During the first
two years of the program, the Minnesota First team conducted an average of 40 inspections. The list of possible participants
for 1999 includes 89 employers.
Californias Cal/OSHA received funding under workers compensation reform for an expanded targeted
inspection program, and a targeted consultation program with a more proactive focus. Consultation visits are offered to
high hazard employers as an alternative to targeted inspections. The targeted consultation program emphasizes reducing the
number of repetitive motion injuries (RMIs), including back injuries, and has developed model injury and illness prevention
training programs to prevent RMIs. Iowa is currently formulating a cooperative compliance program which will take
advantage of both their consultation and enforcement sections to better serve Iowas employers and employees.
PROTECTING PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
The OSH Act of 1970 specifically excludes public agencies of the states and their political subdivisions
from coverage by OSHA. However, state plans are required to provide occupational safety and health protection to public sector
employees. This is a significant requirement and benefit of the state plan programs. Some of our most hazardous workplaces
are in the public sector firefighting, emergency response, corrections, law enforcement, publicly-funded health care
facilities, and transportation workers. Under a state plan program, public employees can receive protection equal to coverage
of private sector employees.
HAZARD SPECIFIC STANDARDS
States and territories develop standards addressing the specific hazards found in their local industry,
often involving labor and management representatives in the process. The regulatory process can work more quickly at the state
level when compared to the federal level. Standards set by individual state plan programs have sometimes been a model and a
forerunner of standards that are later adopted or expanded by OSHA at a national level. Following are some examples of how
OSHSPA states and territories have enhanced the safety and health of Americas workforce.
California revised its bloodborne pathogen standard to better protect
health care workers from pathogens transmitted through needlesticks. Healthcare employees were required to begin
shifting to devices such as safety needles with sliding sheaths starting January 15, 1999. The standard was
enthusiastically supported by the California Nurses Association and the California Health Care Association which
represents 600 hospitals, health systems and physician groups. Legislation has been proposed to require similar
protection from needlesticks in Washington state.
Kentucky adopted a bloodborne pathogens standard which applies
protective measures to blood exposures on construction sites as well as general industry locations.
Virginias construction sanitation standard assures that construction workers receives a level of
protection similar to that provided to migrant and farmworkers under the field sanitation standard. California
requires employers to obtain permits undertaking certain types of construction work. Permit holders must then
complete a Cal/OSHA notification form and send it to the district office where work is to be performed, before
beginning construction activity. Nevada adopted a regulation requiring a pre-construction conference for
certain high-hazard construction projects, and adopted the 1989 American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
standard for steel erection safety.
Washington formed the Construction Advisory Committee, an innovative
melding of business, labor and government, in 1988. The CAC helped produce an industry-wide fall protection
standard, embraced by all parties. In less than three years, compensable claims attributed to falls from elevation
dropped significantly. Oregon similarly involved stakeholders prior to rule adoption, and established a
common set of rules for all industries, with special alternatives for unique situations such as roofing.
Kentucky promulgated unique standards for fall protection in general industry, not limited to construction.
North Carolinas fall protection requirements prohibit most free climbing in the electric power
industry, except for wooden poles in specific situations.
Virginia is working with a group of firefighters and local government
officials to develop a negotiated safety and health standard for public sector firefighters. Initiated after
Virginias adoption of a new respirator standard, and the tragic death of two firefighters in Chesapeake,
this standard will cover the special circumstances and hazards regularly faced by public employees fighting fires.
Working with recommendations from a fire service advisory committee, Washington developed and adopted a
firefighting standard which took effect in 1997.
Monitoring inspections conducted by Utah between 1987 and 1991 at a
copper smelter undergoing major construction activity revealed that both smelter and construction employees at the
site were exposed to excess levels of lead. Lead exposure limits in the construction standard did not provide the
same level of protection as the general industry permissible exposure levels (PELs), so in 1991, Utah included
construction work in the scope of its general industry lead standard. That same year, the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a health hazard evaluation study of lead exposure among lead
burners at the construction site. The report findings were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Later, when OSHA promulgated a lead-in-construction standard in 1993, Utah adopted the federal rule.
["Lead Exposures Among Lead Burners," MMWR 41(17):307, May 1, 1992. See also: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control, NIOSH, "Preventing Lead Poisoning in
Construction Workers," Hazard Alert, Publication No. 91-116a, April 1992, 19 pp. Available online at
In 1983, Maryland adopted a comprehensive lead-in-construction standard, which is
combined with information, education and enforcement to protect construction workers. The state also requires
laboratories to report high blood-lead levels. Virginia has adopted a regulation to monitor lead
contractors compliance with state and federal requirements for removal and disposal of lead.
In 1973, Washington developed a confined space standard covering all
industries. Marylands standard, adopted in 1976, also covers all workers. Kentuckys
standard applies to construction as well as general industry operations. Utah developed confined space
entry requirements for farming operations in 1987. Before OSHA adopted its 1993 permit-required confined space
standard, Virginia had maintained confined space standards for the general, construction, and
telecommunications industries since 1987. In 1988, Minnesota adopted a confined space entry standard,
applicable to both construction and general industry, which classifies all confined spaces from Class I (the least
hazardous) to Class III (the most hazardous). Class I permits are issued on an annual basis, and Classes II and
III at the time of entry.
In Oregon, certification is required for operators of cranes that
are five tons or more that are used in construction. Maryland has a unique standard for personnel platforms
suspended from cranes, derricks, and hoists in general industry. California issues permits for erecting fixed
tower cranes, and for operating fixed and mobile tower cranes. Cal/OSHA is required to inspect the cranes within ten
business days of receiving an application for an operating permit, and to reinspect twice each year. Anyone testing,
examining or certifying cranes and derricks in lifting service that exceed three tons rated capacity must be
licensed as a crane certifier by Cal/OSHA, or must be approved as a crane surveyor who works under the authority
and supervision of a licensed crane certifier. Cal/OSHA conducts unannounced audits of the activities of crane
certifiers and surveyors at least once during each licensing period, and investigates any complaints or
After the investigation of a 1994 crane collapse accident which killed two workers and
injured a third in Washington State, more than $21,000 in resulting penalties was used to improve worker
safety and health through the formation of a Crane Safety Association (WCSA). This was the first time that penalty
dollars assessed by the Department of Labor and Industries were returned to an industry to make it safer for
workers. The WCSA continues to be active and responsive to the safety needs of the craning community, presenting
three crane safety seminars annually. They recently presented a code revision proposal for the use of attached
personnel platforms with cranes and a voice communications revision. WISHA is acting on these revision proposals
through the rule making process.
The number of towers erected has increased tremendously over the past several
years due to use of cellular phones and pagers. Recognizing the need for specific rules/guidelines to address
this unique industry, Michigan has established an advisory committee of employers and employees to consider
draft rules for tower erection.
Vermonts standard for electric power generation, transmission,
and distribution requires two qualified lineworkers whenever energized lines and equipment are involved. There are
limited exceptions for work done in emergency situations and from bucket trucks. The standard also requires
contractors to certify their lineworkers as qualified and to provide this information to utilities prior to
starting work. The Virginia Overhead High Voltage Line Safety Act requires employers to work with the
owners of overhead power lines to de-energize or guard power lines against accidental contact while work is being
conducted around such lines. This standard also includes employee training requirements.
Recognizing that the hazards of off-highway vehicles exist in industrial
settings as well as on construction sites, Kentucky adopted safety standards for off-highway motor vehicles
and equipment used in general industry locations.
In Minnesota's cold climate, working out of doors at certain times
during the year requires extra safeguards. Minnesota adopted a unique job-site shelter standard in 1978 which
requires employers to provide heated privies, and appropriate shelters for employees to eat lunches, change
clothing, etc. when working in cold weather.
Because of the serious hazards found in the logging industry, the states
of Michigan, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming developed comprehensive logging safety rules in the
early 1970s. Federal OSHA rules, which previously covered only pulpwood logging, were expanded in 1995 to apply
to all logging operations. Alaska has developed safety codes for highliune, tractor and
Working with industry, labor, management and the state legislature,
Washington changed its agriculture standards, providing the same level of protection to farm workers as
in other industries. 1996 legislation required the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Labor and
Industries to coordinate adoption, implementation and enforcement of a common set of worker protection standards (WPS)
relating to pesticides. Both agencies adopted the federal EPA standards for pesticides. Through a memorandum of
understanding, these two agencies along with the Department of Health coordinate workplace pesticide inspections.
WISHA has responsibility for enforcing the WPS where an employer/employee relationship exists. The Department of
Agriculture enforces all other components of the pesticide label.
Oregon enacted a law in 1995 establishing an inspection exemption program for small
agricultural employers. By participating in consultation and training activities sponsored by OR-OSHA, insurance
carriers, industry associations, university outreach programs, or private consultants, employers are exempt from
routine scheduled inspections. The law established an Agricultural Advisory Committee that assists in reviewing
the state-specific standards for the agricultural industry, and how they are administered. The State of Oregon
returned registration of farm labor camps to OR-OSHA in 1995, and also transferred the administration of a farm
worker housing tax credit program aimed at improving labor camp conditions.
In 1983, North Carolina adopted a field sanitation standard covering migrant and
seasonal farmworkers. North Carolinas standard provides coverage regardless of the number of employees, and
requires pre-occupancy inspection of all migrant labor camps. Virginias field sanitation standard for
agriculture ensures the availability of drinking water regardless of the number of employees. Arizona has a
standard which bans the use of hoes with handles shorter than 48 inches. Since the rule went into effect in 1985,
the short-handled hoe, which was common in the early 1980s and caused widespread back problems among agricultural
workers, has almost become extinct. California, New Mexico, and Wyoming also have standards
prohibiting the use of short-handled hoes.
In response to local needs, several states with significant oil drilling
operations adopted regulations regarding well drilling. Utah adopted standards in 1980 which cover all types
of oil and gas well drilling and servicing. Wyoming promulgated regulations in 1970 covering oil and gas well
drilling and servicing, and expanded coverage in 1984 to include special servicing. Alaska has also developed
unique safety codes for the petroleum industry.
Many states had right-to-know laws before OSHA implemented the hazard
communication standard in 1984. Although the federal standard initially covered only manufacturing (and later expanded),
in Tennessee, labor, management, TOSHA, and the Tennessee General Assembly cooperated to expand coverage to all
workers. The standard requires initial and annual retraining of employees, information to be given to TOSHA (and to the
public upon request), and notification and warning to firefighters to allow better response to emergencies where
hazardous chemicals are involved. TOSHA personnel visited all employers in Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
codes 20-39 who failed to submit chemical lists as required. With this additional effort, over 98 percent of employers
Minnesotas employee right-to-know law, adopted in 1983, covers more than just
hazardous substances. It also covers harmful physical agents (e.g., noise, heat, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation)
and infectious agents. MNOSHA has required training on all infectious agents, including bloodborne pathogens, since
1983. Alaskas hazard communication rules cover noise and radiation in addition to workplace chemicals,
including eight hazardous physical agents. Alaska also publishes physical agent data sheets describing the hazards for
employers. Michigan covers piping systems containing hazardous substances, and requires employers to post
employee notices to advise where material safety data sheets (MSDS) are kept, who to contact to review MSDS, and
notification when a new chemical hazard is introduced in the workplace. From its inception in 1988, Iowas
right-to-know legislation covered all sectors, including construction.
It also covers right-to-know for the general public and in public emergency response. California maintains an
information system that alerts employers and workers to the dangers of toxic substances in the workplace.
WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH PROGRAMS
Workplace specific safety and health programs that stress management commitment and employee involvement
are key to controlling hazards that can cause injuries and illnesses. These programs emphasize worksite analysis to identify
actual and potential hazards, technical and administrative control of the hazards, and training for all personnel, including
supervisors and managers. Alaska, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon,
Tennessee, and Washington require employers to establish a safety and health program.
1990 law requires all employers to set up effective injury and illness prevention
programs. Employers must conduct periodic inspections of their worksites to identify unsafe conditions and work
practices, and eliminate any hazards found.
Requires written safety and health programs at all establishments.
A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction Act (AWAIR) of 1990 requires employers in industries
with high injury and illness incidence and severity rates to develop a written workplace safety and health program.
The Minnesota OSH Act was amended in 1995 to require employers of 25 or more employees to establish a joint
labor-management safety committee. Employers with 25 or fewer employees must establish a committee if their pure
premium rate is in the top 25 percent for all classes.
Requires employers with eleven or more employees to establish a written safety program.
Employers with more than 25 employees must have a safety committee.
Requires employers with a high rate of workers compensation claims to have written safety
and health programs, and to establish formal safety and health committees.
In the 1987 workers compensation reform, Oregon required high hazard firms to implement
workplace safety committees. This employee involvement approach brings labor and management together in new and
meaningful ways. It is the foundation for many significant developments which produced an unprecedented seven year
decrease in injury, illness and fatality rates and workers compensation costs. In 1990 a law passed
requiring mandatory labor/management safety and health committees for most Oregon employers.
Washingtons law requires every employer to develop a written plan addressing the hazards
of that business. The plan must include a safety and health committee of employer and employee representatives,
and training for employees in safe work practices. WISHAs video, Staying a Step Ahead, helps employers
and employees establish accident prevention programs without having to wait until a consultant can schedule an
ERGONOMICS - FITTING THE JOB TO THE WORKER
Ergonomics is the scientific study of human work. Ergonomics considers the physical and mental
capabilities and limits of the worker as he or she interacts with tools, equipment, work methods, tasks, and the working
environment. The goal of ergonomics is to reduce the incidence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), which result
in staggering costs due to pain, suffering and lost productivity. MSDs are among the most common and costly occupational
injuries and illnesses in the United States. Some states have cited ergonomic hazards under general safety standards known
as "general duty" or "safeplace" standards, but more specific requirements, along with training and
outreach programs, will help to effectively control these types of hazards.
Californias workplace repetitive motion injury (RMI) standard which took effect in July, 1997,
is the first in the nation to specifically address musculoskeletal injuries which are caused by a repetitive job, process or
operation. The Cal/OSHA ergonomics standard contains three independent requirements:
Workplace evaluation of each type of job, process or operation (such as word processing, assembly or loading);
Control measures to correct the exposures causing RMIs in a timely manner; and
The standard is enforced only when at least two employees performing the same type of job, process or
operation are diagnosed with RMIs by a licensed physician within a 12 month period.
Cal/OSHA issued the first citations for violations of the ergonomics standard in December, 1998. The employer was cited for not
controlling, in a timely manner, exposures that cause RMIs, and for not providing employee training. Cal/OSHAs Consultation
Service has made numerous presentations and provides publications on workplace ergonomics, back injury prevention and MSDs to
help employers and employees understand the scope of the problem and to establish preventive measures minimizing the occurrence
OSHA recently made public the first draft of their proposed ergonomic program standard. Several state plans are also initiating
ergonomic rulemaking, including North Carolina and Washington. When an OSHA
rule becomes final, state plans are required to adopt an identical standard, or a standard at least as effective as OSHAs,
within six months.
Although it does not have an ergonomic standard, Minnesota was one of the first states to examine
and cite ergonomic problems in the workplace. They established an ergonomics team to conduct comprehensive inspections of
selected facilities including a thorough review of injury and illness records, a complete walkaround inspection of the
facility, and abatement recommendations. Minnesotas current ergonomics special emphasis program is nursing homes,
with a goal of identifying and reducing occupational hazards common to nursing homes through education, outreach and
inspection. The ergonomics team developed written "Guidelines for Resident Handling in Long-Term Care Facilities"
to assist health care employers in preventing/reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries, and conducted outreach sessions
for the industry. In 1998 the team began conducting random nursing home inspections to assess compliance with standards, and
the employers efforts to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries.
Washington is addressing ergonomic hazards in several ways. In 1998, the Department of Labor and
Industries (L&I) initiated the HIP, or Hazard Impact Partnership program. HIP coordinates the efforts of L&Is
industrial insurance, WISHA, and risk management programs, focusing on specific industries rather than individual employers.
Nursing homes were selected as the first focus industry. Proposed activities include:
Premium incentives for nursing homes willing to develop "zero-lift" programs;
Performing job modifications on open claims for nurses and nursing assistants;
Documenting best practices used in skilled nursing facilities and sharing the information through written aerials,
paycheck stuffers, calendars, posters, and other media; and
Evaluation of the interventions to determine the effectiveness of each, and to see which can be modified and replicated in other
L&Is Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP) program has received
a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to complete the evaluation over the next three
years. WISHAs 1999 performance plan includes a goal of reducing the number of back and shoulder injuries by five percent
in nursing homes participating in HIP.
Washington also held seven rule-development conferences in October, 1998, to listen to public opinion on work-related MSDs and
their prevention. The conferences were designed to help identify issues, concerns and options that need to be considered before
WISHA develops an ergonomics standard. WISHA formed an advisory committee to further ensure broad participation in the
rulemaking process. Information and outreach materials are available at http://www.wa.gov/lni/wisha/ergo/.
North Carolina implemented a Cooperative Assessment Program for Ergonomics after conducting 40
inspections based on ergonomic related complaints. The program allows employers to negotiate agreements resolving ergonomic
hazards before citations are issued. The agreements preclude the necessity of lengthy inspections yet provide the same assurance
of abatement which would be achieved through a citation. The state has also taken a giant step toward reducing the incidence of
cumulative trauma disorders through the creation of the Ergonomics Resource Center. The center was developed to supplement
compliance activity which is often the most protractive method of eliminating ergonomic stressors in the workplace. In-plant
consultative assistance, including education and training, helps reduce repetitive motion disorders among workers in a wide
variety of occupations. The center was recognized by the Ford Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at
Harvard University as a finalist in the 1996 Innovations in American Government Awards program.
In 1995 Oregon established a unique worksite redesign program providing grants from workers
compensation funding sources to conduct research and development in public and private sector workplaces. This joint effort
of the Workers Compensation Division and OR-OSHA uses the ergonomic technical and prevention skills in OR-OSHA to
assist employers in solving real workplace injury and illness problems, in ways that can be shared with other employers in
the same or related industries.
PREVENTING WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
Workplace violence is an occupational safety and health hazard that demands action. Whether the risk
of violence comes from a co-worker, client, patient or the public, employees deserve a safe workplace. Employers must be
provided with tools to develop comprehensive plans to reduce levels of risk. State programs are developing formal rules as
well as voluntary guidelines to help employers prevent this type of workplace hazard.
Oregon has taken a strong information and training approach to create awareness
and encourage action. By creating several publications and working directly with the Associated Oregon Industries and other
groups, statewide education network training forums have addressed this emerging area. Cal/OSHA
held conferences on workplace security in a drive to increase awareness of the issue, promote additional research, and develop
guidelines requested by safety and health professionals for preventing workplace violence. If present, indicators of violence
in the workplace require further evaluation. Although workplace violence is part of a larger societal problem, the employer is
still required under the California Labor Code to provide a safe and healthful place of employment. Employers at risk of
robbery or other violent assaults must address workplace security in their injury and illness prevention program.
Indiana has issued general duty clause citations on workplace violence.
New Mexico settled a Section 11(c) discrimination case involving workplace violence. Two employees with a history of
fighting were involved in a fight at work. One complained and was subsequently transferred 60 miles away to another duty
station. The employer did not reprimand the employee who was the aggressor in all the altercations.
Minnesota established the Workplace Violence Prevention Team in 1993 to research workplace violence
and recommend a course of action for MNOSHA. Members include staff from MNOSHA Compliance and Workplace Safety Consultation.
An essential member of the team is the Violence Prevention Coordinator, a full-time state-funded position. MNOSHA Compliance
answers questions about workplace violence and responds to complaints about workplace violence. One of several onsite
investigations conducted in 1998 resulted in a citation under the general duty standard. The team developed an informational
fact sheet, posted on MNOSHAs website at http://www.doli.state.mn.us/wvp_fact.pdf.
Minnesotas Workplace Violence Prevention Center, established in 1997, continues to grow and provides information to the
public. The Minnesota Violence Prevention Program forms cross-disciplinary partnerships with other violence prevention programs
to create a statewide initiative. Through a successful partnership with the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Institute
and Education Development Center, Minnesota took part in a nationwide satellite training session on youth violence prevention,
with over 2000 participants. In 1998, MNOSHA trained over 1500 employers and employees in 36 violence prevention training
sessions at ten regional centers.
Washington developed safety and health standards for the late night retail industry in 1990, and uses
enforcement and consultation resources to encourage hazard abatement and prevention. The Workplace Violence Awareness and
Prevention workshop helps participants assess risk factors and develop preventive measures. A written guidebook covering these
topics and a sample prevention program were developed by WISHA, along with over 30 representatives of labor, business and the
academic community (http://www.wa.gov/lni/pa/workvil.htm). WISHAs video Is It Worth Your Life? with real-life
scenarios demonstrates what workers and employers can do to prevent injuries. The video is distributed to employer networks
and associations and may be reproduced.
In 1997, the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Safety and Health Assessment
and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program completed a comprehensive study of workplace violence based on federal and state data
for 1992-95 (http://www.wa.gov/lni/sharp/39-2-97.pdf). Homicide was the fourth leading cause of workplace deaths in Washington
state, and most incidents were consistent with well-known risk factors. Most were committed by persons unknown to the victims
and most of the victims worked in retail trade, security services or transit. The majority of non-fatal injuries also occurred
in predictable settings, but in contrast to the fatal assaults, most of these injuries occurred in a setting where the victim
and attacker were in a custodial or client-caregiver relationship, such as health care or social services. Especially notable
is that while the trend for assaults against private sector workers in the state was downward, that for state government
workers was rising. This study counters the notion that violence on the job is a random event, and consequently impervious to
remedy. Prevention strategies, such as hazard assessment and de-escalation training, are available to address the risk factors
in each work setting.
PROTECTION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL TOBACCO SMOKE
Several states now regulate smoking in the workplace and public access buildings. In 1994, OSHA issued a
notice of proposed rulemaking on indoor air quality, including environmental tobacco smoke (secondhand smoke), which would ban
workplace smoking unless a separate, enclosed and ventilated room to contain smoke is in place.
In 1988, Vermont passed legislation prohibiting smoking in the workplace, or requiring that smoking be
confined to a designated enclosed area. Each employer must establish a written smoking policy, or negotiate one through
collective bargaining. The policy may permit smoking in a designated unenclosed area if 75 percent of the employees in the
workplace agree, and if the layout of the workplace protects non-smoking employees from exposure. Vermont passed additional
legislation in 1993, prohibiting smoking in the common areas of all enclosed indoor places of public access, publicly owned
buildings and offices. Since 1995, only those businesses with a cabaret license and more than 50 percent of their income from
alcohol sales may be designated as smoking areas. If a cabaret is part of a larger facility, the cabaret may be designated as
a smoking area provided it is separately enclosed and separately licensed as a cabaret.
Washingtons Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) rule banning smoking in offices requires
employers to either prohibit smoking or set up separately ventilated smoking areas. The regulation does not apply to
restaurants, taverns, factories or other indoor work areas which are not office spaces. Most smoking complaints are handled
by a letter to the employer, outlining the rule and requesting a response that describes corrective action taken. About ten
percent result in an inspection, and a fraction of those are assessed a penalty. In 1994 a lawsuit seeking to overturn the
rule was filed by a group of tobacco companies and three small state businesses. They lost in several early attempts to have
the rule declared invalid. A trial was held in Thurston County Superior Court in 1996, followed by a ruling that the Department
of Labor and Industries was within its statutory authority and fully complied with the law in making the rule. The ruling
was appealed, and the case was argued before the Washington State Supreme Court in November, 1998. The Courts decision
is expected soon.
In 1994, Maryland issued a rule covering virtually all workplaces including the hospitality industry,
allowing smoking only in separately enclosed and sometimes separately ventilated rooms. The tobacco industry challenged the law
but in 1995, Marylands highest court upheld the rule, concluding that "significant risk" to employees
health should be regulated. Later the Maryland legislature allowed less restrictive rules for restaurants, hotels, taverns
and bars. Marylands governor has been recognized by the American Heart and Lung Association for leadership in protecting
Californias statewide smoking ban went into effect in 1995. Any violation of the smoking ban is
punishable by a fine not to exceed $100 for a first violation, $200 for a second violation and $500 for a third and subsequent
violation within one year. The smoking prohibition is enforced by local law enforcement agencies including local health
departments. Cal/OSHA is not required to respond to any complaint regarding the smoking ban unless the employer has been
found guilty of three violations within the previous year.
Utahs Indoor Clean Air Act also went into effect in 1995. It supersedes any local ordinances
and prohibits smoking in all enclosed indoor places of public access and publicly owned buildings and offices. Exceptions
apply to guest rooms in hotels and other lodging places, taverns, private clubs, or facilities rented for public functions.
The first violation is subject to a civil penalty of not more than $100. The second or subsequent violation is subject to a
civil penalty of not more than $500.
New Yorks highest court ruled in 1994 (Johannesen v. New York City Department of Housing
Preservation and Development, NYCTAPP, No. 89A), that a workers asthma, aggravated by exposure to secondhand cigarette
smoke in the workplace, is a compensable injury. The New York State Workers Compensation Board ruled that the employee
had sustained an accidental injury as a result of the repeated trauma of exposure to secondhand smoke. The boards
decision was upheld by the state Supreme Court Appellate Division on appeal by the city agency.
In Iowa, legislation was enacted in 1979 prohibiting smoking in a public place or in a public meeting
except in a designated smoking area. Persons violating the law are subject to a civil fine. Puerto
Rico now prohibits smoking in public buildings and agencies, hospitals, and restaurants. Smoking areas must be
clearly identified with signs and must have adequate ventilation systems to impede the movement of smoke from the smoking area
to nonsmoking areas. Violations are subject to a $250 fine.
Hawaii has a state law prohibiting smoking during the hours of operation in group child care
homes and centers, and family child care homes. Michigan also prohibits smoking in child care
centers and in family day care homes during the hours of operation. In addition, Michigan prohibits smoking in a public
place or at a meeting of a public body, except in designated smoking areas.
ENFORCING WORKPLACE SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARDS
States use a variety of innovative tools to assure employer compliance with occupational safety and
health standards. They also protect the rights of employees who file a complaint or who participate in workplace safety and
Response to Complaints. Most states now use the "phone-fax" method
pioneered by OSHA to address some types of safety or health complaints. When a complaint is received that meets a states
criteria for using this policy, the employer is contacted by phone. A follow-up letter is faxed to the employer, who is asked
to investigate the conditions that are alleged to be unsafe. The employer must respond within a short period of time, usually
five days. A compliance investigation may be conducted if the employer does not respond, if the response is not satisfactory,
or if the state program deems it necessary. Many workplace hazards have been abated faster, using fewer program resources, by
Dual Employer Requirements. Employees of temporary service agencies have often
experienced higher than average injury and illness rates, frequently due to cases of inadequate safety training.
California has adopted an innovative policy regulating dual employers temporary help agencies
and employee leasing companies. The temporary agency retains hiring and firing authority, and acts as the primary employer to
contract with the employee, issue paychecks, and provide workers compensation coverage. The employee works under the
supervision and control of another company, the secondary employer. The Cal/OSHA dual employer policy concerns safety and
health hazards when the employee is stationed at the worksite of the secondary employer. The primary employer must ensure
that the employee receives all required training, is provided with required personal protective equipment, and is covered by
an effective injury and illness prevention program. If the primary employer meets all of these requirements, generally they
will not be held liable for violations which expose the employee to hazards at the secondary worksite, in situations where the
primary employer does not have supervision and control over the employees work activity.
Discrimination. Kentuckys anti-discrimination law provides for reinstatement
with back pay and other appropriate relief for employees whose rights to complain about unsafe or unhealthful working
conditions have been violated. Penalties up to $10,000 may be assessed against the offending employer, and failure to pay them
may result in the placement of liens. The employee may be reinstated pending a final determination by the OSH Review
Commission or court, leveling the playing field in cases which might involve prolonged litigation.
Hawaii extends the time to file discrimination complaints to 60 days, and mandates their
investigation to be completed within 60 days, allowing quicker remedies for safety and health "whistle-blowers."
North Carolinas discrimination law includes an extended time frame of 180 days for filing a
complaint, treble damages, and attorney fees. In Vermont, employees who have been subjected to
discrimination for a protected activity may file a private action in Superior Court seeking triple wages, damages, costs and
Imminent Danger Restraint. When a substantial probability exists that workplace
conditions could cause death or serious physical harm, states respond quickly to protect workers.
Washington can issue orders of immediate restraint, and can "red tag" any machine or
equipment in violation of a WISHA standard in imminent danger situations. Minnesota, Maryland
and Oregon may also issue a "red tag" which prohibits use of equipment or continuing an
operational process until the hazard is corrected or removed.
Similarly, Michigan can authorize tagging of equipment or a process which is the source of imminent
danger. The tag or "cease operation order" prohibits individuals from working in locations or conditions where
imminent danger exists, except when necessary to correct or remove the imminent danger. Tags can only be removed after
inspection of the equipment or process by a program supervisor. Vermont may close a workplace or
a portion of a workplace where an imminent danger exists without obtaining a temporary restraining order. There is a $5,000
per day penalty for disobeying an order. Violations Resulting in Worker Deaths or Serious Injuries. Virginia law provides criminal penalties up to $70,000 or imprisonment up to six months, or both,
for the first occurrence of any willful violation which causes the death of an employee. A second occurrence can double both
the penalty and length of sentence. Virginias policy is to recommend criminal prosecution for manslaughter against any
person whose flagrant, culpable and wanton violation of VOSH laws results in the death of an employee. Virginia has successfully
prosecuted a criminal willful violation and a manslaughter charge.
Arizona statute directs the Industrial Commission to assess an additional $25,000 penalty against any
employer for each employee who suffers permanent disability or death as result of a willful or repeated OSH violation. The
following provisions must be met: the citation was a final order; workers compensation benefits were paid as a result
of the employees permanent disability or death; and, the OSH violation did not result from employee disobedience.
The additional penalty is paid to the injured employee or their dependents.
Text Version of Chart: FY 98 Total Violations/Hazards by Type
Type: Horizontal Bar Graph
Graph Elements: 6 - Segments by type of Violations/Hazards based on the number of
Serious/Compliance = 64,047
General = 87,163
Willful = 341
Repeat = 2,186
FTA = 494
Serious/Consultation = 63,887
Minnesota law provides a penalty up to $25,000 where a serious violation has caused or contributed
to the death of an employee. In cases with willful violations involving a workers death, Michigan
law provides penalties of $10,000 and one year in jail for a first conviction, and $20,000 and three years for a second
conviction. Maryland law permits criminal penalties for violations of standards covering work around
Average Number of Violations per Inspection
Total Penalties Assessed
Average Penalty per Serious Violation
Percentage of Inspections with No Violations
Total Number of Contested Cases
Percentage of Inspections with Citations Contested
Settlement Agreements.South Carolina
pioneered the use of settlement agreements at the pre-protest or post-contest level. A typical agreement may obligate the
employer to request training and education, to develop a safety and health program, and to conduct monthly site inspections.
Indiana includes establishing a workplace safety committee in nine-point informal settlement agreements.
In 1996, Oregon developed its first cooperative settlement agreement offering comprehensive
consultation and employee training as a post-contest option.
Utah started a program in 1990 offering employers with fewer than 100 employees a modified one time
settlement agreement to establish a safety and health program, which can be supplemented by an active substance abuse program.
The settlement process provides the employer with education, training and consultation. The compliance officer is directly
involved in providing information and assistance to the employer, and monitoring progress through documentation provided by
the employer, or through a follow-up inspection. The goal of the agreement is to reduce injuries and illnesses, and
workers compensation costs.
Virginia uses specialized settlement agreements in some cases involving fatal accidents, willful
violations or employers with poor safety and health records. Employers may be required to:
Develop comprehensive safety and health programs;
Provide VOSH with monthly lists of active construction sites for inspection scheduling purposes;
Hire a full time safety and health professional to run the companys safety and health program;
Implement comprehensive and specially targeted training programs for employees and supervisors;
Require the president or other high ranking management personnel to:
Attend safety and health training courses;
Periodically visit job sites to assure safe and healthful work practices; and,
Develop a disciplinary system which includes documenting violations of safety and health work rules, and progressively
severe internal penalties up to removal of the unsafe employee.
To provide the incentive to continue focusing on safety and health issues after a case is settled,
VOSH has also agreed to excuse a portion of the penalty if no violations of the items cited in the original inspection recur
within a set number of years.
Penalty Collection.Minnesota law
assesses penalties up to 125 percent of the original amount if not paid within 60 days after becoming a final order. After 60
days, unpaid fines accrue additional penalties until paid in full or until the fine has accrued to 300 percent of the original
amount. In 1993, Utah simplified the debt collection process. Utahs Act now allows filing a
lien in the district court for an uncollected citation penalty. The filed lien has the effect of a judgment of that court.
Kentucky can have a lien placed on all real and personal property of an employer when a citation has
been upheld by a final order of the Review Commission.
Enforcement is only part of the answer to reducing the incidence of worker injuries, illnesses and
fatalities. A wide array of services help employers voluntarily comply with safety and health standards. These programs
include free consultation visits to employers worksites, Voluntary Protection Programs, training and education
programs for employers and employees to teach them how to work in a safe and healthful manner, and conferences on safety
and health topics.
Consultation Services. In federal FY 98, state programs conducted 14,918
consultation visits, identifying and directing the abatement of about 63,900 serious hazards. Connecticut
offers on-site consultations to help smaller firms and agencies with limited expertise and resources to interpret
complex standards or conduct testing and monitoring. No penalties are proposed or citations issued for hazards identified by
the consultant. Utah passed a bill in 1995 authorizing 0.25 percent, or about $1,000,000, of the
workers compensation premium for workplace safety and health programs, including consultation and training. Utah uses
pre-construction conferences extensively for large projects. A single point of contact helps customers with their questions
Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP). Companies whose managers and employees are
working together to build exemplary, comprehensive safety and health programs with proven performance levels are receiving
local and national recognition through the VPP. Some states also offer the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program
(SHARP), which provides an incentive for employers to develop a comprehensive and effective injury and illness prevention
program that involves employees in a significant way.
Arizona adopted the VPP STAR program in 1995.
California has eight worksites participating in Cal/VPP.
Iowa initiated a program in 1992.
Kentucky certified its first VPP participant in August, 1997.
Michigan initiated Star and Merit VPPs. Effective January, 1998, these programs will be
available to the public sector.
Since 1996, Minnesota has offered a program which combines elements of VPP and SHARP. The
first two participants received certificates in 1997, with others working toward MNSHARP status. Large employers must
agree to mentor two small employers to be eligible for MNSHARP recognition.
North Carolina initiated the "Carolina Star" program in 1993, recognizing companies
whose lost workday case rate is 50 percent below the state average for that industry. Sixteen sites have received
the award since 1994. The state is currently working on an additional recognition program level for companies that
exceed minimum occupational safety and health requirements, but have not attained the most stringent Carolina Star
Oregon developed a VPP program with the help of a joint labor/management committee in 1997.
Oregon has awarded Star status the highest recognition available to one site, and Merit status to a
second site. Twenty-one Oregon worksites have been awarded SHARP certificates. Seven of the worksites have earned
second year certificates. Over 100 more companies are working toward their SHARP designation. It is hoped that SHARP
recipients will also work toward VPP participation.
During 1998, Puerto Rico received and evaluated three applications to the VPP program. Two
employers were certified in the Guanín (equivalent to Star) and one was certified Cemí (equivalent to Merit). Puerto
Rico also has a Taíno program, specially designed for small employers.
The South Carolina Office of Voluntary Programs implemented the "Palmetto Star"
Tennessees consultation team implemented the Volunteer Star, VPP, and SHARP.
Virginia launched VPP and SHARP initiatives patterned after OSHAs model in 1995.
Washington has one VPP "Star" site, one application in process, and several more
expected by summer. Twenty-five more sites are considering applying for the program.
Wyoming now has two employers in its "Cowboy Star and Merit" program. The first
entrant was the City of Casper, and the second is Chevron Production Company. Employers can also participate in the
SHARP program, as well as the Wyoming unique Employer Voluntary Technical Assistance Program (EVTAP) which started in
Training and Education Initiatives. In federal FY 98,
states provided 12,344 training programs for over 262,819 employers and employees on topics such as Confined Spaces, Hazard
Communication on Chemicals in the Workplace, Trenching and Excavation Safety, Bloodborne Pathogens, Tuberculosis, Eliminating
Ergonomic Hazards, and Violence in the Workplace.
Oregon provides over 100 workshops covering 35 topics to over 2,000 employers and employees each
quarter. The topics include core areas such as safety committee operations, hazard identification, accident investigation,
and more technical programs on traffic control and scaffolding. Oregon is the first state to bring interactive training on-line
via the Internet. Five core workshops and two advanced workshops are offered through OR-OSHAs web site
(http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/osha/educate/training/pages/courses.htm). Workshops on workplace violence and ergonomics
will be on-line soon. Oregon residents can take the classes electronically, respond to questions, receive personal attention
from a trainer, and receive a certificate of completion.
The state of Washington recently placed its first occupational safety training video on the Internet.
Roofing Safety, the first in a series designed for the residential construction industry, promotes safe construction
practices to help prevent injuries among roofers. The video was developed by WISHA safety professionals in partnership with the
Construction Advisory Committee. It can be viewed at (http://www.wa.gov/lni/videos/roofsafety.htm). This innovative use of
technology makes video examples of safe roofing practices instantly available to employers and employees with an Internet
connection on their computer.
Iowa has worked closely with the OSHA Training Institute, a local community college and the
international American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) group to provide nationwide training on
such topics as confined space entry and lockout/tagout via their Interactive Communication Network. In addition, IOSH staff
received training on electrical hazards through a pilot by the OSHA Training Institute via the same network.
In North Carolina, when logging related fatalities drastically increased, the state initiated a
training program for industry groups that took the message of safety into the field where tree felling activity was actually
taking place. This effort dramatically reduced the number of tree felling-related fatalities from 13 to three in a single year.
North Carolina has also established a local training network through the community college system which uses local safety
professionals to teach a variety of safety topics.
Virginia, in an effort to combat the rising number of injuries and fatalities among loggers, developed
a voluntary compliance program in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Forestry, Virginia Tech School of Forestry, and
the Virginia Forestry Association. Safety and health training is provided at the logging work site. Loggers who request onsite
training are contacted at home in the evening to establish a meeting time and place. Materials including safety checklists, a
safety manual, and lists of logging injuries are reviewed with loggers. Group training sessions arranged by Department of
Forestry regional representatives are also conducted for loggers and their families.
Virginias Consultation Services Program has developed and produced two training videos with a
grant from OSHA. One video, Getting Started with Safety, outlines steps necessary to begin a safety program and the
benefits of having one. The second video, Common Safety Problems, describes five safety problems common to most small
businesses. Both videos are used to help small businesses establish effective safety programs. These materials are available
for other state consultation programs to customize for their own use.
Recognizing that construction is an especially high-hazard industry, Minnesota established a
bimonthly training seminar specifically for the construction industry. These Construction Breakfasts are well attended by
construction employers, employees, and union representatives. Average attendance is 125 people. Discussion at these sessions
includes an analysis of recent construction accidents, new standards, workers compensation, and other safety and
health-related topics pertinent to the construction industry.
Through the cooperative efforts of the Associated General Contractors of Kentucky and the Kentucky
OSH Division of Education and Training, free job safety and health training is brought to the construction worksite in a
training van. Fully equipped with audio-visual equipment, this mobile classroom makes training accessible to more contractors
and their employees while drastically reducing down time at the site.
Michigan is piloting ergonomics training programs throughout the state. These programs are conducted
in cooperation with private sector professionals, drawing on concepts from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
recommendations, and building on initiatives by OSHA and NIOSH. In September, 1997, a training package was completed
on "Elements of Ergonomics Programs," adapted from the NIOSH primer of the same name. It covers recognition of
work-related musculoskeletal disorders; how to initiate ergonomic programs; building in-house expertise; gathering and
examining evidence of problems; developing controls; and health care management.
The Safety Partnership Program (SPP) is a new training effort in Kentucky. It offers long-term
assistance to smaller employers with a history of high injury and illness rates and high workers compensation costs.
SPP helps employers to develop a proactive approach to safety and health management, thereby improving production, increasing
employee morale, and significantly reducing workers compensation costs. Employers are required to make a three year
commitment, and management as well as employees must be willing to fully participate. Participants are assigned a team of
safety and health consultants from Kentuckys Division of Education and Training, and receive top priority over all
other training service requests. Once requirements for SPP are fulfilled, employers can apply for the Voluntary Protection
Because the demand for training in employer workplaces is so high, Puerto Rico is delivering training
and conference sessions open to general audiences in different towns on the island. Information on each session is published
in the newspaper, reaching and benefiting a higher number of employers, employees, students, and the general public.
New York recognizes that many public employers need help complying with regulations that require
a written program. They have developed model programs to help employers comply with the bloodborne pathogen and permit-required
confined space standards.
Wyoming developed four training programs for specific segments of the current and
The Three-Day Collateral Duty Health and Safety Program is for personnel who have safety duties in addition to their
The Management Safety Seminar is directed toward the corporate officers and owners of businesses.
The Construction Safety Program was developed for foremen, superintendents, and safety personnel.
Industrial Technology Safety Training is for students from the junior high school level through the community
college level, to increase future workers safety and health awareness.
Maryland provides training on three readily preventable causes of
fatalities trenching, electrical and fall hazards. This Fatality Prevention Program, which was first offered to other
state and local inspection agencies, is an effective way to train public sector inspectors in the identification and avoidance
of hazards, increasing the effectiveness of construction inspections. The Fatality Prevention Seminars continue to be extremely
popular and to draw from private sector employers as well as from the public sector.
Safety and Health Conferences. A number of states hold a Governors Safety and Health Conference.
For 26 years Iowa has held an annual Governors Conference. The Conference is organized by a
committee that includes representatives from labor, industry, and the public sector, and draws attendance from many segments of
the population. Nationally known speakers are featured. The Conference is so successful that the Committee has established
scholarships totaling $9,500 for seven college students who are majoring in safety and health areas.
Oregons Biennial Governors Conference draws over 3,000 participants to the Convention
Center in Portland. Additional education with a conference format is offered in all the geographical regions of the state, as
well as a second major conference every other year in Eugene. Washingtons annual Governors
Conference, ongoing since 1949, is approaching 50 years. In 1997, for the first time, OSHAs Region X conference was
combined with the Governors conference. Over 3,000 people attended, with 147 exhibits. The annual conference alternates
between Western Washington (Seattle) and Eastern Washington (Spokane).
Kentuckys annual Governors Conference was first held in 1985. This joint effort of
business, labor, government and academia is facilitated by the Kentucky Labor Cabinet and the Kentucky Safety and Health
Network. It averages 50 sessions, 115 exhibitors, and 1800 participants. Complementing the Governors Conference which
is held in Louisville each Spring, are mid-year symposiums offered at a variety of locations throughout the Commonwealth during
the late Fall.
Maryland OSHI along with its safety council and a number of safety organizations sponsors an annual
safety and health conference. The conference draws an average of 500 people each year. Puerto Rico has
an annual three-day safety and health conference with workshops designed to help understand compliance requirements and update
professionals in safety and health and related disciplines. Virginia successfully hosted its first
annual safety and health conference in Richmond in 1996. The conference brought employers, employees, and associations together
to discuss current safety and health initiatives in Virginia.
The Tennessee Safety Congress, sponsored by TOSHA and the Tennessee Chapters of the American Society
of Safety Engineers, is an assembly of safety and health professionals meeting to share information and ideas to develop
programs and educational techniques that promote good workplace safety and health practices. The Congress has grown and become
nationally recognized for its high quality and diverse activities.
For more than 40 years, Michigan has sponsored an annual industrial ventilation conference focusing
on effective and economical industrial ventilation systems. This week long conference is staffed by some of the most notable
ventilation experts in the United States and Canada. It combines general sessions and small classroom experiences to share
general ventilation information and the latest control technologies.
INNOVATIONS - THE HEART OF STATE PLANS
Many states have created unique safety and health initiatives which build partnerships, reward responsible
employers, and use innovative methods of leveraging program resources to reach even greater numbers of employers, employees and
worksites. These innovations demonstrate the commitment of the states and territories to continually develop effective and
responsive programs which improve workplace safety and health.
Electronic Access to Information. Many state plan states are following federal
OSHAs lead in providing electronic access to occupational safety and health information via the Internet. These web sites
provide a wealth of program and reference information day and night, from any location with computerized access. Users retrieve
standards, policy manuals, information on appeal rights, public hearing notices, and material safety data sheets (MSDS) from
terminals in their workplaces, homes, schools and libraries. In some states, the public can read proposed rule changes on the
Internet, and comment by e-mail. Web resources are expanding beyond static information to include interactive on-line training
(Oregon), and safety training videos that can be played directly over the Internet
(Washington). State plan web sites are listed in the directory at the end of this report.
Partnerships. The Oregon construction industry and
OR-OSHA are working together to reduce construction injuries and fatalities. The Joint Emphasis Program (JEP) is a cooperative
effort between management, labor and government to design and implement focused joint training sessions. The goals of JEP are
to focus on hazards, design a curriculum, provide training to safety personnel, foremen, supervisors and OR-OSHA staff, and to
communicate the problems and solutions to the industry and public through outreach efforts. Initial training will target fall
hazards in roofing, scaffolding, elevated areas, and excavations.
The MIOSHA program, a number of labor organizations, and the Michigan Department of Transportation
worked together to develop contract specifications to enhance worker health and safety on a very large international bridge
refurbishing project. The project, which entails closing the bridge for 18 months, will include safety and health requirements
that go beyond current rules. If proven successful at minimizing accidents, injuries and exposures, the specifications may serve
as a model for future projects in Michigan. Minnesota initiated a pilot partnership program with an
electrical utility and its union. An agreement was signed to exempt this utility from general scheduled inspections for one year
after it passed a thorough evaluation by the MNOSHA Electrical Utilities Team.
Virginias Safety Network programs were designed to link large businesses with small businesses
to promote workplace safety through shared expertise and resources. Begun in 1993 as the Blue Ridge Safety Network, this
program has grown to include eight local chapters covering nearly half of Virginia. Two hundred thirty employers participate
in the networks, which provided 39 training seminars in 1998. Kentucky organized a private,
non-profit Safety and Health Network with participants representing business, labor, government and academia. Their mission
is to increase awareness of safety and health in the workplace through educational programs, scholarships and endowments, as
well as through statewide symposiums.
Tennessee uses an approach that has yielded tremendous benefits: Industry-TOSHA discussion groups
when new standards and requirements are proposed, such as Bloodborne Pathogens, Hazard Communication, and Electrical Power
Generation, Transmission and Distribution standards.
Plain Language Standards. Rules written in plain language, not cumbersome
bureaucratic language, are easier to understand and follow. Washington has been using clear rule
writing principles for several years, and has published several standards in the new format. A two day class is available to
agency staff who work with rules. Clearly written rules eliminate repetitive language, reduce cross-referencing and bureaucratic
wording, simplify the overall outline structure, refer to the employer as "you," use questions for titles, and reduce
large sections into smaller single topics. WISHA requested funds from the 1999 Washington State Legislature to redesign the
WISHA standards, including a users guide, table of contents, core rules, general rules, industry rules, index, and
compliance guides for small businesses. If funding is approved, the innovative format will promote consistent application and
greater levels of voluntary compliance.
Employer Awards. Michigan recognizes employers who have taken measurable steps to
address ergonomic related hazards. These include the Ergonomic Innovation Awards and the Ergonomic Success Awards for
improvements which reduce worker strain, have substantially reduced traumatic strain/sprain injuries and cumulative trauma
disorders. The awards also encourage the development of ergonomic ideas which can be shared with others.
Kentucky has refined its Governors Safety and Health Awards Program by introducing a graduated
system which allows employers of all sizes and their workers to be recognized for their accomplishments in preventing
occupational injuries and illnesses. This year, Indianas Department of Labor and the Hoosier
Safety Council are co-sponsoring the inaugural Governors Workplace Safety Awards. All Indiana businesses, industrial
facilities, individuals, institutions, municipalities, schools, service organizations, trade unions, and nonprofit organizations
are eligible. Award categories include Innovations, Partnerships, Education and Outreach, and Technology Transfer.
Financial Incentives. Since 1993, Wyoming has given
employers a 75 percent penalty reduction if they successfully reduce their workers compensation claims by 25 percent over
a 12 month period. About 60 percent of employers have met their 25 percent reduction goal, with another 20 percent making some
reduction. Wyoming also offers employers a 50 percent penalty reduction if they fix hazards the same day. Many employers have
taken advantage of this, working well into the night to fix problems. A recent innovative option is to waive all penalties if
the employer agrees to a consultation visit and a follow-up enforcement inspection 12 months later. Any repeat violations found
during the follow-up will cost at least two to five times more than the original penalty.
Wyoming funds a loss control consultant through workers compensation to help employers reduce job related accidents and
to lower premiums. Upon request, a briefing is given to a specific employer or group of employers. Highlights include analysis
of the workplace injuries, how much money can be saved by reducing the frequency and severity of injuries, and behavioral
modification concepts. The loss control consultant may work in tandem with safety and health consultation personnel.
Puerto Rico implemented the Quick Fix program in 1996, providing a 15% additional reduction in
penalties for safety and health violations that are abated during the inspection. In Hawaii, a five
percent workers compensation premium discount is offered for workplace safety and health programs certified by
state-certified professionals as effective, leveraging the states consultation resources. Only poor safety performers
can be placed into the assigned risk pool, and employers can "bet" on their future safety performance by negotiating
for higher deductibles for workers compensation.
Strategic and Performance Planning. In 1995, OSHA encouraged state programs to
develop an alternative to OSHAs traditional state plan monitoring and evaluation process. Between 1995 to 1997, several
states developed unique performance agreements with OSHA, including Oregon, Wyoming, Michigan, Washington,
and North Carolina. Washingtons agreement featured streamlined targeting based on
statewide safety and health priorities developed in partnership with business and labor, and enhanced coordination between the
WISHA enforcement, consultation, and risk management programs. OR-OSHAs performance agreement with federal OSHA, the
first in the nation, was recognized in November, 1998, with Vice President Al Gores "Hammer Award." The award
recognizes outstanding efforts to make government more efficient and less expensive.
In 1998, OSHA required all state plans to include an annual performance plan in their grant application. Each state also
prepared a five year strategic plan in coordination with OSHAs planning efforts. All state programs were required to
adopt OSHAs first strategic goal to "improve workplace safety and health for all workers, as evidenced by fewer
hazards, reduced exposures, and fewer injuries, illnesses, and fatalities." Strategic and performance planning focuses
on safety and health outcomes, not activities. OSHA and most states included reduced injury and illness rates in selected
industries or worksites in their outcome goals. Other examples of outcome goals include decreased fatalities; improvements in
employer safety and health management programs, with increased worker involvement; and, improved response time to fatalities,
catastrophes and complaints.
COMMITMENT TO WORKER SAFETY AND HEALTH
In federal fiscal year 1998, state programs received $77.9 million in 23(g) and $14.4 million in 7(c)(1) funding from the
Occupational Safety and Health Administrations total budget of $336.5 million. The states are required to pay at least
50 percent of the total cost of a 23(g) program, and at least ten percent of the total cost of a 7(c)(1) program. In addition,
many states fund other programs focused on safety and health in the workplace. Even in states facing serious budget constraints,
the respective legislatures continue to provide matching funds for occupational safety and health programs in recognition of
their value in reducing workplace injuries and illness, conserving both human and fiscal resources. In fiscal year 1998, state
and territorial funds of $111.3 million were allocated to state plan programs. This commitment to worker safety and health is
worthy of recognition.
Text Version of Chart: FY 98 Funding for State Plan Programs
Type: Pie Chart
Graph Elements: 3 - Pie segments by type of funding based on the amount of funding.
Federal 23(g) Funds = $77.9 Million, 38.3%
Federal 7(c)(1) Funds = $14.4 Million, 7%
State Funds = $111.3 Million, 54.7%
Every day millions of workers provide the physical and mental energy and dedication to keep America
running. Among them are the safety and health professionals who work with employers and employees to ensure that America has
safe workplaces. When a logger loses an arm or a leg, or a construction worker dies in a trenching accident, safety and health
workers do not see the victims as just a name on a report, or a statistic on an injury and illness log. They see precious human
beings one whose limb cannot be replaced, or whose life cannot be restored. They know the tragedy of families whose
loved one is irrevocably changed, or who never came home from work at all. They are driven to identify the causes of accidents,
and to help eliminate hazards as quickly as possible so that no one else is hurt.
Text Version of Chart: FY 98 Total Federal OSHA Budget
Type: Pie Chart
Graph Elements: 3 - Pie segments by type of budget based on the share of each budget.
State Plan 23(g) Share = $77.9 Million, 23.1%
State Plan 7(c)(1) Share = $14.4 Million, 4.3%
OSHA Share = $244.2 Million, 72.6%
The state plan programs and OSHA supplement enforcement efforts with voluntary compliance incentives,
educating and training employers and workers to identify and abate hazards in their own workplaces. Employers and employees
can join in the partnership and commitment to safe workplaces. Nationwide, much remains to be done to eliminate all the hazards
that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. But the accomplishments are clear. State plan programs make a
significant contribution to the goal of safe and healthful workplaces for all American workers.
Total Population of Covered States & Territories
Total Private Sector Employers Covered
Total Private Sector Employees Covered
Total Public Sector Employers Covered
Total Public Sector Employees Covered
1998-99 OSHSPA BOARD
OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY & HEALTH STATE PLAN ASSOCIATION
Stephen M. Cant, CIH
Federal-State Operations Manager
Department of Labor & Industries
WISHA Services Division
PO Box 44600
Olympia, WA 98504-4600
PHONE: (360) 902-5430
FAX: (360) 902-5529
Jay W. Bagley
Labor Commission of Utah
Occupational Safety & Health Division
PO Box 146650
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6650
PHONE: (801) 530-6898
FAX: (801) 536-7906
Mary L. Bryant
Iowa Workforce Development
Labor Services Division
1000 East Grand
Des Moines, IA 50319
PHONE: (515) 281-3469
FAX: (515) 281-7995
Chief Administrative Officer
Department of Business & Industry
Division of Industrial Relations
400 West King Street Suite 200
Carson City, NV 89710
PHONE: (702) 687-5240
FAX: (702) 687-6150
Director, Office of Legal Support
Department of Labor & Industry
13 South 13th Street
Richmond, VA 23219
PHONE: (804) 786-9873
FAX: (804) 786-8418
Department of Licensing & Regulation
Division of Labor & Industry
1100 North Eutaw Street Room 604
Baltimore, MD 21201
PHONE: (410) 767-2196
FAX: (410) 767-2003
Department of Labor & Industry
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
National Life Building Drawer 20
Montpelier, VT 05602-3401
PHONE: (802) 828-2765
FAX: (802) 828-2195