Hawaii is one of 21 states operating an approved occupational safety and health program. This program is operated by the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division.
Hawaii's public sector jurisdiction includes only two types of government, state and county. There is one state government with offices on all 5 major islands, and 4 county governments. State government has an average annual employment of 61,228, which is approximately 12% of all employees included in Hawaii's jurisdiction. The four county governments combined total 17,000 employees or 3.4% of the total work force covered by the Hawaii state plan. As an 18(e) state plan state, Hawaii is required to provide an enforcement safety and health program for public sector employees equally as effective as that for the private sector.
All standards that apply to the private sector, equally apply to the public sector. In addition, although Hawaii's jurisdiction does not include private sector maritime, Hawaii has just recently adopted the maritime and ship building federal standards, 29 CFR 1915, 1917, and 1918 which will apply to public sector workers performing cargo handling or working around marine terminals, etc.
Hawaii has an advisory committee comprised of both public and private sector employers and union representatives who advise the program on all areas of the program -- standards, enforcement issues, strategic plans, training, outreach. The Hawaii Occupational Safety & Health (HIOSH) Advisory Committee has two public sector employers representing the State and one county government, and includes a public sector union representative. Public sector representatives often offer insight into the unique problems of compliance for county governments with limited resources.
Public sector employers are penalized the same as private sector employers, with penalty payment coming from programs' money and going to the Occupational Safety and Health Training and Assistance Fund which is funded solely by enforcement penalties. The beneficiary of the fund, however, are employers, both public and private, who receive additional outreach, training, and compliance assistance.
Approximately 5% of all inspections are conducted in the public sector. Most are as a result of complaints filed by state and county workers. General schedule inspections are based on the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data which helps to identify types of government activities with the highest injury and illness rates. That data is matched to state OSHA Data Initiative data to verify the establishments with the highest rates.
Occupational Safety and Health Regulations
State Consultation Program
The service is delivered by HIOSH using well-trained professional staff. Most consultations take place on-site, though limited services away from the worksite are available. Primarily targeted for smaller businesses, this safety and health consultation program is completely separate from the HIOSH inspection effort. In addition, no citations are issued or penalties proposed.