OSHA has approved Maine as the newest State Plan responsible for protecting the safety and health of state and local government employees. The Maine State and Local Government Only State Plan will cover more than 81,000 employees of the state and its political subdivisions under an OSHA-approved plan. The plan became effective August 5.

“This is a major milestone for Maine public employees and the state’s development of its occupational safety and health program,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels, PhD. “We applaud them for their ongoing commitment to the well-being of government workers who provide the most vital services that make the state of Maine livable and enjoyable.”

Maine joins Illinois, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York and the Virgin Islands as one of six states and territories that administer safety and health programs for state and local government employees that are committed to maintain programs that are at least as effective as federal OSHA. Twenty-four states still do not provide federally approved workplace safety and health protections for its public employees. The plan will be administered by the Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards, which will provide coverage to 81,430 public employees. Private sector and federal government employees in Maine remain under federal OSHA jurisdiction.

The OSH Act of 1970 and 29 CFR Part 1956 allow states and territories to establish plans that cover only state and local government employees—workers who are excluded from federal coverage. Once a State Plan is approved, OSHA funds up to 50 percent of the program’s costs.