The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Edwin G. Foulke Jr. announced June 29 that OSHA will resume regular enforcement of job safety and health standards south of Interstate 10 in Mississippi. Prior to the announcement, OSHA had exempted that part of the state from its normal enforcement operations as a result of last year's hurricanes along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma last summer, OSHA exempted a number of counties and parishes in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana from regular enforcement status. In those areas, OSHA limited its inspections to cases involving fatalities, catastrophic accidents or complaints.
On Jan. 25, the agency resumed normal enforcement throughout Florida and Alabama, and in Mississippi north of Interstate 10. OSHA is still refraining from normal enforcement operations in the following areas of Louisiana: the cities of New Orleans and Slidell, and the parishes of St. Bernard, Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Charles, Cameron, Calcasieu and St. Tammany.
"As we did in January, we can now resume our full normal operations throughout another part of the U.S. Gulf Coast that was impacted by last year's devastating storms," said Foulke. "Recovery operations throughout all of Mississippi - while still ongoing - has progressed to a level where we are comfortable resuming normal enforcement operations."