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August 21, 2012
Feds take over enforcement; state to regain authority

The Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) and federal OSHA will work together to rebuild and strengthen the regulatory environment in Hawaii. Hawaii’s Occupational Safety and Health Division (HIOSH) is an agency of the DLIR.

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According to the state, the agreement will entail temporarily suspending HIOSH enforcement authority in specific industries where OSHA will assume such responsibility. This will continue until Hawaii OSHA can be as effective in its enforcement as federal OSHA.

The goal is for the state plan to reassume full authority, with training and support provided by federal OSHA. The state will reassume enforcement in stages, with full regulatory responsibility at the end of 3 years.

HIOSH Administrator Diantha Goo said there will be a clear division of enforcement responsibilities between the state and local programs. This is “to ensure that no one in the employer community will be confused about which agency is regulating their industry during the agreement.”

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