Alaska Shifts Portion of Native, Military Safety and Health Jurisdiction to Federal OSHA

May 3, 2004

The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced a state and federal agreement to transfer administration of workplace safety and health at some U.S. government agencies from the Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Administration to federal authorities.

Grey Mitchell, director of the state Division of Labor Standards and Safety, announced the agreement. He said the shift in jurisdiction will improve the delivery of workplace safety and health services at locations where access is limited or where work is performed that does not fall within Alaska occupational safety and health guidelines.

The agreement stipulates that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be responsible for safety and health jurisdiction at Alaska Native health care facilities that are federally owned and contractor operated. Some military installations in Alaska will also be subject to the jurisdictional change.

Native health care facilities include those owned by the U.S. Department of the Interior, Indian Health Service, the U.S. Department of Defense or the federal Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The agreement also includes facilities operated by tribal organizations under contract with the Indian Health Service. Mitchell said the state would retain jurisdiction over construction and contract maintenance at the Native health care facilities.

The director said military installations for which workplace safety and health jurisdiction will transfer from the state include four missile defense sites and four U.S. Coast Guard facilities.

Details of the change are outlined in the Federal Register published on April 19, 2004, also the effective date for the administrative transfer.

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