29 CFR § 1956.1 - Purpose and scope.
(a) This part sets forth procedures and requirements for approval, continued evaluation, and operation of State plans submitted under section 18 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 667) (hereinafter called the Act) for the development and enforcement of State standards applicable to State and local government employees in States without approved private employee plans. Although section 2(b) of the Act sets forth the policy of assuring every working man and woman safe and healthful working conditions, State and local government agencies are excluded from the definition of “employer” in section 3(5). Only under section 18 of the Act are such public employees ensured protection under the provisions of an approved State plan. Where no such plan is in effect with regard to private employees, State and local government employees have not heretofore been assured any protections under the Act. Section 18(b), however, permits States to submit plans with respect to any occupational safety and health issue with respect to which a Federal standard has been promulgated under section 6 of the Act. Under § 1902.2(c) of this chapter, an issue is defined as “any * * * industrial, occupational, or hazard grouping that is found to be administratively practicable and * * * not in conflict with the purposes of the Act.” Since Federal standards are in effect with regard to hazards found in public employment, a State plan covering this occupational category meets the definition of section 18 and the regulations. It is the purpose of this part to assure the availability of the protections of the Act to public employees, where no State plan covering private employees is in effect, by adapting the requirements and procedures applicable to State plans covering private employees to the situation where State coverage under section 18(b) is proposed for public employees only.
(b) In adopting these requirements and procedures, consideration should be given to differences between public and private employment. For instance, a system of monetary penalties applicable to violations of public employers may not in all cases be necessarily the most appropriate method of achieving compliance. Further, the impact of the lack of Federal enforcement authority application to public employers requires certain adjustments of private employer plan procedures in adapting them to plans covering only public employees in a State.