OSHA and Oregon OSHA enter partnership for Umatilla Army Depot worker safety
The Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (OR-OSHA) and the
federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced
the creation of a partnership to jointly oversee worker safety of civilian
contract employers whose job it is to destroy nerve agents stored at the
Umatilla Army Depot near Hermiston.
The Umatilla Army Depot has contracted with Washington Demilitarization
Company for construction, operation and eventual demolition of a chemical
weapons incinerator at the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility.
In Oregon, employers working on military reservations, and federal agencies,
are under the authority of federal OSHA, a division of the U.S. Department
of Labor. The majority of non-federal public and private sector employers
in Oregon comply with regulatory authority granted to OR-OSHA, a division
within the states Department of Consumer and Business Services.
Jurisdiction issues are very complex in terms of who is responsible
for protecting workers at Umatilla, says Peter De Luca, administrator
of Oregon OSHA. We regard this partnership as a chance to enhance
the safety of all workers at the Umatilla Depot and strengthen what is
already a very positive working relationship with OSHA.
Under the terms of the agreement, federal OSHA will exercise jurisdiction
over private sector employees, contractors and subcontractors working
at the Disposal Facility, which is located on the U.S. Army reservation.
Federal safety and health standards will be applied, and any citations
for violations observed will be issued by federal OSHA. OR-OSHA personnel
will accompany federal inspectors during on-site inspections and investigations.
Non-military federal employees of the Umatilla Depot not working on the
incinerator project will be under federal OSHA jurisdiction, while state,
county or local emergency response personnel will be under OR-OSHAs
authority. OR-OSHA will also provide workplace safety and health consultation
services to employers at the Disposal Facility. Neither Oregon OSHA or
federal OSHA have jurisdiction over active duty military personnel.