Is OSHA going to pull our state run plan?


Is OSHA going to pull our state-run plan?

Henry Staggs, NCCER Master Trainer

A few years ago I started hearing little blips here and there about OSHA taking our state plan away. For those of you who don't know who ADOSH is click here to learn more about who they are.

To sum it up. ADOSH or Arizona Department of Safety and Health has been given the authority to enforce OSH or Occupational Safety and Health law. Which was passed back in 1971. To hold onto that authority, ADOSH has to meet OSHA's standards. Just like any other business would do. 

ASDOSH has had its challenges in the past. There was that entire thing with the 15-foot rule. Then OSHA put ADOSH on probation for five years. It's worth looking up if you are interested.

Now ADOSH has a new challenge to face. 

In written notice to the Industrial Commission of Arizona on October 19, 2021, OSHA said it is “reconsidering” its approval of Arizona’s OSHA State Plan. OSHA’s warning was prompted by Arizona’s failure to fully adopt the Healthcare ETS OSHA issued for healthcare employers or an “at least as effective” alternative. Federal OSHA Threatening to Pull the Plug on State Plans Refusing to Enforce Healthcare ETS | Jackson Lewis P.C. - JDSupra

ADOSH has to maintain the same or better standards as OSHA. In this case, OSHA is saying that ADOSH has not complied with the healthcare ETS issued for healthcare employers on June 17, 2021. This is coming right from the top, with President Joe Biden. Executive Order. This means when OSHA issues a new standard. ADOSH has to meet or exceed that standard.

This order took effect on June 21, 2021. It seems that the new standard, the ETS, which is a response to COVID. Is not being met here in Arizona, at least that's what I keep reading in various articles. The Result could be OSHA pulling our state plan from us. 

If that happens. Roofers, you better start enforcing fall protection. Google OSHA and roofers. In states where OSHA is in charge, roofers get slammed. Some roofers are sitting in the prison. Or on their way to prison, for being lazy about enforcing fall protection standards. Here's one example.

OSHA also has announced plans to revoke approval of the State Plans in Arizona, South Carolina, and Utah for their failure to adopt the Healthcare ETS, which could mean that they lose federal funding for safety and health and that OSHA would then take over those OSHA State Plans.

I have asked the Director of ADOSH for his comments, and I will let you all know what he says.

In the meantime, roofers let's get the fall protection right. The bottom line is that it's been the law for a long long time. If you are working six feet off the ground, you have to be protected from falls. It is up to the employer to provide the proper equipment and training. And yes, it is up to the employer to enforce it and make sure their workers are safe. Until the law is changed, there is no point (that I know of) when the worker's safety is NOT the responsibility of their employer. That includes "subcontractors". There are contractors in or going to prison for the death of a "sub-contractor" on one of their jobs. Don't play that game with your future.

Be safe, we need all the roofers we can get.


Henry Staggs, NCCER Master Trainer NRCA Qualified Trainer