Monday, July 1, 2013

Ten Most Unique, Interesting, and Quirky OSHA Standards from State Plan Programs

July 4th is here, and America is celebrating her 237th birthday this year. And in spite of her faults, there is not a day goes by that I don’t say thanks to my maker for allowing me to be born and raised in the greatest country in the world. One of the benefits of being an OSHA trainer / consultant is that my line of work has allowed me to travel to each one of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. And I’ve found that there is something interesting or unique about each and every one of them; except for Kansas (sorry Jayhawks, but there is absolutely nothing about mile after mile of wheat fields that excites me).
You are probably aware that about half of the states and territories administer an approved State Plan OSHA Program, which means they have one or more OSHA standards that are unique to their state (one requiring a state OSHA poster, at a minimum). And a few states have added their own “twist” to some of the Federal OSHA standards. Since I have conducted training and/or mock-OSHA inspections in all of the states, I have learned about many of those unique and different state rules (sometimes the hard way). So this month, I thought I would share with you (in no particular order) what I consider to be some of the most unique, interesting, and/or quirky safety and health standards I’ve run across in various State Plan OSHA programs over the years:

In the Wolverine state, rule 5815 (2) – (7) requires the operator of an aerial work platform (boom-lift . . .) to carry (or have available at the job site) an operators permit, issued by their employer, for the specific type lift they are utilizing. That permit is valid only while performing work for the issuing employer, and expires after three (3) years, at which time it must be re-issued. Federal OSHA has no operator’s permit requirement . . .
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