U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 21, 2024

§ 1902.3 - Specific criteria.

(a) General. A State plan must meet the specific criteria set forth in this section.

(b) Designation of State agency. (1) The State plan shall designate a State agency or agencies as the agency or agencies responsible for administering the plan throughout the State.

(2) The plan shall also describe the authority and responsibilities vested in such agency or agencies. The plan shall contain assurances that any other responsibilities of the designated agency shall not detract significantly from the resources and priorities assigned to administration of the plan.

(3) A State agency or agencies must be designated with overall responsibility for administering the plan throughout the State. However, political subdivisions of the State may have the responsibility and authority for the development and enforcement of standards, provided that the State agency or agencies are given adequate authority by statute, regulation, or agreement, to insure that the commitments of the State under the plan will be fulfilled.

(c) Standards. (1) The State plan shall include or provide for the development or adoption of, and contain assurances that the State will continue to develop or adopt, standards which are or will be at least as effective as those promulgated under section 6 of the Act. Indices of the effectiveness of standards and procedures for the development or adoption of standards against which the Assistant Secretary will measure the State plan in determining whether it is approvable are set forth in § 1902.4(b).

(2) The State plan shall not include standards for products distributed or used in interstate commerce which are different from Federal standards for such products unless such standards are required by compelling local conditions and do not unduly burden interstate commerce. This provision, reflecting section 18(c)(2) of the Act, is interpreted as not being applicable to customized products or parts not normally available on the open market, or to the optional parts or additions to products which are ordinarily available with such optional parts or additions. In situations where section 18(c)(2) is considered applicable, and provision is made for the adoption of product standards, the requirements of section 18(c)(2), as they relate to undue burden on interstate commerce, shall be treated as a condition subsequent in light of the facts and circumstances which may be involved.

(d) Enforcement. (1) The State plan shall provide a program for the enforcement of the State standards which is, or will be, at least as effective as that provided in the Act, and provide assurances that the State's enforcement program will continue to be at least as effective as the Federal program. Indices of the effectiveness of a State's enforcement plan against which the Assistant Secretary will measure the State plan in determining whether it is approvable are set forth in § 1902.4(c).

(2) The State plan shall require employers to comply with all applicable State occupational safety and health standards covered by the plan and all applicable rules issued thereunder, and employees to comply with all standards, rules, and orders applicable to their conduct.

(e) Right of entry and inspection. The State plan shall contain adequate assurance that inspectors will have a right to enter and inspect covered workplaces which is, or will be, at least as effective as that provided in section 8 of the Act. Where such entry or inspection is refused, the State agency or agencies shall have the authority, through appropriate legal process, to compel such entry and inspection.

(f) Prohibition against advance notice. The State plan shall contain a prohibition against advance notice of inspections. Any exceptions must be expressly authorized by the head of the designated agency or agencies or his representative and such exceptions may be no broader than those authorized under the Act and the rules published in part 1903 of this chapter relating to advance notice.

(g) Legal authority. The State plan shall contain satisfactory assurances that the designated agency or agencies have, or will have, the legal authority necessary for the enforcement of its standards.

(h) Personnel. The State plan shall provide assurance that the designated agency or agencies have, or will have, a sufficient number of adequately trained and qualified personnel necessary for the enforcement of the standards. For this purpose qualified personnel means persons employed on a merit basis, including all persons engaged in the development of standards and the administration of the State plan. Conformity with the Standards for a Merit System of Personnel Administration, 45 CFR part 70, issued by the Secretary of Labor, including any amendments thereto, and any standards prescribed by the U.S. Civil Service Commission pursuant to section 208 of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91-648; 84 Stat. 1915) modifying or superseding such standards, will be deemed to meet this requirement.

(i) Resources. The State plan shall contain satisfactory assurances through the use of budget, organizational description, and any other appropriate means that the State will devote adequate funds to the administration and enforcement of the program. The Assistant Secretary will make periodic evaluations of the adequacy of the State resources devoted to the plan.

(j) Employer records and reports. The State plan shall provide assurances that employers covered by the plan will maintain records and make reports to the Assistant Secretary in the same manner and to the same extent as if the plan were not in effect.

(k) State agency reports to the Assistant Secretary. The State plan shall provide assurances that the designated agency or agencies shall make such reasonable reports to the Assistant Secretary in such form and containing such information as he may from time to time require. The agency or agencies shall establish specific goals, consistent with the goals of the Act, including measures of performance, output and results which will determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the State program, and shall make periodic reports to the Assistant Secretary on the extent to which the State, in implementation of its plan, has attained these goals. Reports will also include data and information on the implementation of the specific inspection and voluntary compliance activities included within the State plan. Further, these reports shall contain such statistical information pertaining to work-related deaths, injuries, and illnesses in employments and places of employment covered by the plan as the Assistant Secretary may from time to time require.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1218-0004) [36 FR 20751, Oct. 29, 1971, as amended at 54 FR 24333, June 7, 1989; 80 FR 49901, Aug. 18, 2015]

§ 1902.4 - Indices of effectiveness.

(a) General. In order to satisfy the requirements of effectiveness under § 1902.3 (c)(1) and (d)(1), the State plan shall:

(1) Establish the same standards, procedures, criteria and rules as have been established by the Assistant Secretary under the Act, or;

(2) Establish alternative standards, procedures, criteria, and rules which will be measured against each of the indices of effectiveness in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section to determine whether the alternatives are at least as effective as the Federal program with respect to the subject of each index. For each index the State must demonstrate by the presentation of factual or other appropriate information that its plan is or will be at least as effective as the Federal program.

(b) Standards. (1) The indices for measurement of a State plan with regard to standards follow in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. The Assistant Secretary will determine whether the State plan satisfies the requirements of effectiveness with regard to each index as provided in paragraph (a) of this section.

(2) The Assistant Secretary will determine whether the State plan:

(i) Provides for State standards with respect to specific issues which are or will be at least as effective as the standards promulgated under section 6 of the Act relating to the same issues. In the case of any State standards dealing with toxic materials or harmful physical agents, they should adequately assure, to the extent feasible, that no employee will suffer material impairment of health or functional capacity even if such employee has regular exposure to the hazard dealt with by such standard for the period of his working life, by such means as, in the development and promulgation of standards, obtaining the best available evidence through research, demonstrations, experiments, and experience under this and other safety and health laws.

(ii) Provides an adequate method to assure that its standards will continue to be at least as effective as Federal standards, including Federal standards relating to issues covered by the plan, which become effective subsequent to any approval of the plan.

(iii) Provides a procedure for the development and promulgation of standards which allows for the consideration of pertinent factual information and affords interested persons, including employees, employers and the public, an opportunity to participate in such processes, by such means as establishing procedures for consideration of expert technical knowledge, and providing interested persons, including employers, employees, recognized standards-producing organizations, and the public an opportunity to submit information requesting the development or promulgation of new standards or the modification or revocation of existing standards and to participate in any hearings. This index may also be satisfied by such means as the adoption of Federal standards, in which case the procedures at the Federal level before adoption of a standard under section 6 may be considered to meet the conditions of this index.

(iv) Provides authority for the granting of variances from State standards, upon application of an employer or employers which correspond to variances authorized under the Act, and for consideration of the views of interested parties, by such means as giving affected employees notice of each application and an opportunity to request and participate in hearings or other appropriate proceedings relating to applications for variances.

(v) Provides for prompt and effective standards setting actions for the protection of employees against new and unforseen hazards, by such means as the authority to promulgate emergency temporary standards.

(vi) Provides that State standards contain appropriate provision for the furnishing to employees of information regarding hazards in the workplace, including information about suitable precautions, relevant symptoms, and emergency treatment in case of exposure, by such means as labeling, posting, and, where appropriate, medical examination at no cost to employees, with the results of such examinations being furnished only to appropriate State officials and, if the employee so requests, to his physician.

(vii) Provides that State standards, where appropriate, contain specific provision for the protection of employees from exposure to hazards, by such means as containing appropriate provision for use of suitable protective equipment and for control or technological procedures with respect to such hazards, including monitoring or measuring such exposure.

(c) Enforcement. (1) The indices for measurement of a State plan with regard to enforcement follow in paragraph (c)(2) of this section. The Assistant Secretary will determine whether the State plan satisfies the requirements of effectiveness with regard to each index as provided in paragraph (a) of this section.

(2) The Assistant Secretary will determine whether the State plan:

(i) Provides for inspection of covered workplaces in the State, including inspections in response to complaints, where there are reasonable grounds to believe a hazard exists, in order to assure, so far as possible, safe and healthful working conditions for covered employees, by such means as providing for inspections under conditions such as those provided in section 8 of the Act.

(ii) Provides an opportunity for employees and their representatives, before, during, and after inspections, to bring possible violations to the attention of the State agency with enforcement responsibility in order to aid inspections, by such means as affording a representative of the employer and a representative authorized by employees an opportunity to accompany the State representative during the physical inspection of the workplace, or where there is no authorized representative, by providing for consultation by the State representative with a reasonable number of employees.

(iii) Provides for the notification of employees, or their representatives, when the State decides not to take compliance action as a result of violations alleged by such employees or their representatives and further provides for informal review of such decisions, by such means as written notification of decisions not to take compliance action and the reasons therefor, and procedures for informal review of such decisions and written statements of the disposition of such review.

(iv) Provides that employees be informed of their protections and obligations under the Act, including the provisions of applicable standards, by such means as the posting of notices or other appropriate sources of information.

(v) Provides necessary and appropriate protection to an employee against discharge or discrimination in terms and conditions of employment because he has filed a complaint, testified, or otherwise acted to exercise rights under the Act for himself or others, by such means as providing for appropriate sanctions against the employer for such actions and by providing for the withholding, upon request, of the names of complainants from the employer.

(vi) Provides that employees have access to information on their exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents and receive prompt information when they have been or are being exposed to such materials or agents in concentrations or at levels in excess of those prescribed by the applicable safety and health standards, by such means as the observation by employees of the monitoring or measuring of such materials or agents, employee access to the records of such monitoring or measuring, prompt notification by an employer to any employee who has been or is being exposed to such agents or materials in excess of the applicable standards, and information to such employee of corrective action being taken.

(vii) Provides procedures for the prompt restraint or elimination of any conditions or practices in covered places of employment which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm immediately or before the imminence of such danger can be eliminated through the enforcement procedures otherwise provided for in the plan, by such means as immediately informing employees and employers of such hazards, taking steps to obtain immediate abatement of the hazard by the employer, and where appropriate, authority to initiate necessary legal proceedings to require such abatement.

(viii) Provides adequate safeguards to protect trade secrets, by such means as limiting access to such trade secrets to authorized State officers or employees concerned with carrying out the plan and by providing for the issuance of appropriate orders to protect the confidentiality of trade secrets.

(ix) Provides that the State agency (or agencies) will have the necessary legal authority for the enforcement of standards, by such means as provisions for appropriate compulsory process to obtain necessary evidence or testimony in connection with inspection and enforcement proceedings.

(x) Provides for prompt notice to employers and employees when an alleged violation of standards has occurred, including the proposed abatement requirements, by such means as the issuance of a written citation to the employer and posting of the citation at or near the site of the violation; further provides for advising the employer of any proposed sanctions, by such means as a notice to the employer by certified mail within a reasonable time of any proposed sanctions.

(xi) Provides effective sanctions against employers who violate State standards and orders, such as those set forth in the Act, and in 29 CFR 1903.15(d).

(xii) Provides for an employer to have the right of review of violations alleged by the State, abatement periods, and proposed penalties and for employees or their representatives to have an opportunity to participate in review proceedings, by such means as providing for administrative or judicial review, with an opportunity for a full hearing on the issues.

(xiii) Provides that the State will undertake programs to encourage voluntary compliance by employers and employees by such means as conducting training and consultation with employers and employees.

(d) State and local government employee programs. (1) Each approved State plan must contain satisfactory assurances that the State will, to the extent permitted by its law, establish and maintain an effective and comprehensive occupational safety and health program applicable to all employees of public agencies of the State and its political subdivisions which program is as effective as the standards contained in an approved plan.

(2) This criterion for approved State plans is interpreted to require the following elements with regard to coverage, standards, and enforcement:

(i) Coverage. The program must cover all public employees over which the State has legislative authority under its constitution. The language in section 18(c)(6) which only requires such coverage to the extent permitted by the State's law specifically recognizes the situation where local governments exclusively control their own employees, such as under certain home rule charters.

(ii) Standards. The program must be as effective as the standards contained in the approved plan applicable to private employers. Thus, the same criteria and indices of standards effectiveness contained in §§ 1902.3(c) and 1902.4(a) and (b) would apply to the public employee program. Where hazards are unique to public employment, all appropriate indices of effectiveness, such as those dealing with temporary emergency standards, development of standards, employee information, variances, and protective equipment, would be applicable to standards for such hazards.

(iii) Enforcement. Although section 18(c)(6) of the Act requires State public employee programs to be as effective as standards contained in the State plan, minimum enforcement elements are required to ensure an effective and comprehensive public employee program as follows:

(A) Regular inspections of workplaces, including inspections in response to valid employee complaints;

(B) A means for employees to bring possible violations to the attention of inspectors;

(C) Notification to employees, or their representatives, of decisions that no violations are found as a result of complaints by such employees or their representatives, and informal review of such decisions;

(D) A means of informing employees of their protections and obligations under the Act;

(E) Protection for employees against discharge of discrimination because of the exercise of rights under the Act;

(F) Employee access to information on their exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents and prompt notification to employees when they have been or are being exposed to such materials or agents at concentrations or levels above those specified by the applicable standards;

(G) Procedures for the prompt restraint or elimination of imminent danger situations;

(H) A means of promptly notifying employers and employees when an alleged violation has occurred, including the proposed abatement requirements;

(I) A means of establishing timetables for the correction of violations;

(J) A program for encouraging voluntary compliance; and

(K) Such other additional enforcement provisions under State law as may have been included in the State plan.

(3) In accordance with § 1902.3(b)(3), the State agency or agencies designated to administer the plan throughout the State must retain overall responsibility for the entire plan. Political subdivisions may have the responsibility and authority for the development and enforcement of standards: Provided, that the designated State agency or agencies have adequate authority by statute, regulation, or agreement to insure that the commitments of the State under the plan will be fulfilled.

(e) Additional indices. Upon his own motion or after consideration of data, views and arguments received in any proceeding held under subpart C of this part, the Assistant Secretary may prescribe additional indices for any State plan which shall be in furtherance of the purpose of this part, as expressed in § 1902.1.

[36 FR 20751, Oct. 29, 1971, as amended at 80 FR 49901, Aug. 18, 2015; 81 FR 43452, July 1, 2016]

§ 1902.5 - Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968.

This part shall be construed in a manner consistent with the Intergovernmental Cooperation Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4201-4233), and any regulations pursuant thereto.

§ 1902.6 - Consultation with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The Assistant Secretary will consult, as appropriate, with the Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health with regard to plans submitted by the States under this part.

§ 1902.7 - Injury and illness recording and reporting requirements.

(a) Injury and illness recording and reporting requirements promulgated by State-Plan States must be substantially identical to those in 29 CFR part 1904 on recording and reporting occupational injuries and illnesses. State-Plan States must promulgate recording and reporting requirements that are the same as the Federal requirements for determining which injuries and illnesses will be entered into the records and how they are entered. All other injury and illness recording and reporting requirements that are promulgated by State-Plan States may be more stringent than, or supplemental to, the Federal requirements, but, because of the unique nature of the national recordkeeping program, States must consult with OSHA and obtain approval of such additional or more stringent reporting and recording requirements to ensure that they will not interfere with uniform reporting objectives. State-Plan States must extend the scope of their regulation to State and local government employers.

(b) A State may not grant a variance to the injury and illness recording and reporting requirements for private sector employers. Such variances may only be granted by Federal OSHA to assure nationally consistent workplace injury and illness statistics. A State may only grant a variance to the injury and illness recording and reporting requirements for State or local government entities in that State after obtaining approval from Federal OSHA.

(c) A State must recognize any variance issued by Federal OSHA.

(d) As provided in section 18(c)(7) of the Act, State Plan States must adopt requirements identical to those in 29 CFR 1904.41 in their recordkeeping and reporting regulations as enforceable State requirements. The data collected by OSHA as authorized by § 1904.41 will be made available to the State Plan States. Nothing in any State plan shall affect the duties of employers to comply with § 1904.41.

[80 FR 49902, Aug. 18, 2015, as amended at 81 FR 29694, May 12, 2016]

§ 1902.8 - Variations and variances.

(a) The power of the Secretary of Labor under section 16 of the Act to provide reasonable limitations and variations, tolerances, and exemptions to and from any or all provisions of the Act as he may find necessary and proper to avoid serious impairment of the national defense is reserved.

(b) No action by a State under a plan shall be inconsistent with action by the Secretary under this section of the Act.

(c) Where a State standard is identical to a Federal standard addressed to the same hazard, an employer or group of employers seeking a temporary or permanent variance from such standard, or portion thereof, to be applicable to employment or places of employment in more than one State, including at least one State with an approved plan, may elect to apply to the Assistant Secretary for such variance under the provisions of 29 CFR part 1905.

(d) Actions taken by the Assistant Secretary with respect to such application for a variance, such as interim orders, with respect thereto, the granting, denying, or issuing any modification or extension thereof, will be deemed prospectively an authoritative interpretation of the employer or employers' compliance obligations with regard to the State standard, or portion thereof, identical to the Federal standard, or portion thereof, affected by the action in the employment or places of employment covered by the application.

(e) Nothing herein shall affect the option of an employer or employers seeking a temporary or permanent variance with applicability to employment or places of employment in more than one State to apply for such variance either to the Assistant Secretary or the individual State agencies involved. However, the filing with, as well as granting, denial, modification, or revocation of a variance request or interim order by, either authority (Federal or State) shall preclude any further substantive consideration of such application on the same material facts for the same employment or place of employment by the other authority.

(f) Nothing herein shall affect either Federal or State authority and obligations to cite for noncompliance with standards in employment or places of employment where no interim order, variance, or modification or extension thereof, granted under State or Federal law applies, or to cite for noncompliance with such Federal or State variance action.

[80 FR 49902, Aug. 18, 2015]

§ 1902.9 - Requirements for approval of State posters.

(a)(1) In order to inform employees of their protections and obligations under applicable State law, of the issues not covered by State law, and of the continuing availability of Federal monitoring under section 18(f) of the Act, States with approved plans shall develop and require employers to post a State poster meeting the requirements set out in paragraph (a)(5) of this section.

(2) Such poster shall be substituted for the Federal poster under section 8(c)(1) of the Act and § 1903.2 of this chapter where the State attains operational status for the enforcement of State standards as defined in § 1954.3(b) of this chapter.

(3) Where a State has distributed its poster and has enabling legislation as defined in § 1954.3(b)(1) of this chapter but becomes nonoperational under the provisions of § 1954.3(f)(1) of this chapter because of failure to be at least as effective as the Federal program, the approved State poster may, at the discretion of the Assistant Secretary, continue to be substituted for the Federal poster in accordance with paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(4) A State may, for good cause shown, request, under 29 CFR part 1953, approval of an alternative to a State poster for informing employees of their protections and obligations under the State plans, provided such alternative is consistent with the Act, § 1902.4(c)(2)(iv) and applicable State law. In order to qualify as a substitute for the Federal poster under this paragraph (a), such alternative must be shown to be at least as effective as the Federal poster requirements in informing employees of their protections and obligations and address the items listed in paragraph (a)(5) of this section.

(5) In developing the poster, the State shall address but not be limited to the following items:

(i) Responsibilities of the State, employers and employees;

(ii) The right of employees or their representatives to request workplace inspections;

(iii) The right of employees making such requests to remain anonymous;

(iv) The right of employees to participate in inspections;

(v) Provisions for prompt notice to employers and employees when alleged violations occur;

(vi) Protection for employees against discharge or discrimination for the exercise of their rights under Federal and State law;

(vii) Sanctions;

(viii) A means of obtaining further information on State law and standards and the address of the State agency;

(ix) The right to file complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration about State program administration;

(x) A list of the issues as defined in § 1902.2(c) which will not be covered by State plan;

(xi) The address of the Regional Office of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration; and

(xii) Such additional employee protection provisions and obligations under State law as may have been included in the approved State plan.

(b) Posting of the State poster shall be recognized as compliance with the posting requirements in section 8(c)(1) of the Act and § 1903.2 of this chapter, provided that the poster has been approved in accordance with subpart B of part 1953 of this chapter. Continued Federal recognition of the State poster is also subject to pertinent findings of effectiveness with regard to the State program under 29 CFR part 1954.

[80 FR 49902, Aug. 18, 2015]