On Tuesday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released a letter stating that they are taking steps to rescind its 1985 decision to allow the Industrial Commission of Arizona to oversee enforcement of federal safety rules via the Arizona State Plan.
Arizona has been considered a “home rule state” meaning that the Arizona Department of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) can enforce standards even if they varying from OSHA standards as long as certain criteria are met.
In their letter, OSHA alleges that ADOSH isn’t enforcing the Healthcare Emergency Temporary Standard interim final rule which includes masking requirements, and has not met the applicable standard to be permitted to enforce federal safety laws.
Their nonperformance of duties are almost certainly at the direction of Governor Ducey, who stops at nothing to ensure that Arizona does not implement evidence-based interventions to slow the spread of this virus.
Once OSHA rescinds the authority granted to ADOSH, OSHA will have back enforcement authority in Arizona over new COVID-19 and all other worker safety regulations.