Gov. Steve Bullock has instructed the Labor-Management Advisory Council
to analyze the factors that contribute to Montana's relatively high workers’ compensation rates and to develop policy solutions.
Montana's workplace safety record is one of the worst in the country with an incidence rate 47 percent higher than the national average. The LMAC commissioned a Safety Committee to consider ideas to improve the state's workplace safety.
NFIB/Montana State Director Riley Johnson is not only a member of the LMAC, but also a member of the Safety Committee. One idea that the Safety Committee reported to the full LMAC is a state-administered OSHA enforcement program. Twenty-two other states maintain a state-administered program, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
There are positives and negatives to the concept:
- the state-administered program would give the business community an opportunity to have a stronger voice in the regulatory process
- keep businesses from traveling to the OSHA regional office in Denver for hearings
- allow business to partner with the state-administered OSHA to ensure compliance
- and allow business to invite the state-administered program to the worksite as opposed to being subject to random site visits.
The downside is that a state-administered program would have the authority to exceed federal OSHA regulations. At the same time, it would replace federal control with state control. Consideration of a state-administered OSHA is in the beginning stage at the LMAC.
Please send an email
to Riley Johnson on your thoughts about the direction LMAC wants to take regarding a state- administered OSHA.