Why the federal government might take over worker safety enforcement in Arizona

Published: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 10:08pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 11:51pm
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The Biden administration announced Wednesday that it may take over worker safety enforcement in Arizona.

The U.S. Labor Department said the state has a nearly decade-long pattern of failing to make and uphold rules as effective as those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.

The Labor Department said OSHA has grown more worried that Arizona is unable or unwilling to have the type of worker safety program required by federal law.

Federal Registry documents say labor officials threatened similar action in 2014 over a state law with weak rules on fall protection in residential construction.

Arizona is accused of failing to keep state rules on par with federal regulations going back to 2015.

And Arizona has allegedly not adopted newer federal standards to protect health care workers and support staff from COVID-19.