TRENTON, NJ–The Garden State recently became one of six states and territories with its own program for protecting the safety and health of state and local government workers.
The state plan, which covers more than 530,000 workers, took 16-years to finally become effective this year on January 22, after first being approved in 2001, according to a release from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
"This is a major milestone for New Jersey public employees, as well as the development of the state's occupational safety and health program," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels.
"We applaud them for their ongoing commitment to protecting the safety and health of government workers who support the vital services that make New Jersey a viable place to live and work."
The N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development (LWD) was first required to demonstrate it completed all “structural and developmental aspects” of the state plan as recommended by OSHA, and accomplished this successfully.
“After extensive review of the submissions and opportunity for correction, Plan supplements constituting an updated and revised State Plan were submitted,” wrote OSHA in a notice last month summarizing the revisions and supplements to the plan.
The plan makes LWD, through the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) program, the official state agency in charge of administering the plan throughout N.J., and the PEOSH Act assigns many responsibilities to the N.J. Department of Health (DOH), to apply and carry out.
"Major responsibilities delegated include: Inspection, investigation, and related activities in occupational health and environmental control; medical and first aid; toxic and hazardous substances; respiratory protective equipment, and sanitation," writes OSHA.