OSHA Shares Jurisdiction with USCG over Uninspected Vessels

Thursday, January 10, 2002
The U.S. Supreme Court has determined that, because the U.S. Coast Guard exercises minimal oversight of ‘uninspected vessels’ of the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the Department of Labor shares jurisdiction over working conditions thereon. In the instant case, respondent was cited by OSHA for unsafe working conditions on its oil and gas exploration barge. Respondent challenged the citation, contending that working conditions on its barge were exclusively regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Supreme Court ruled that, because the Coast Guard has neither affirmatively regulated the working conditions at issue nor affirmatively asserted comprehensive regulatory jurisdiction over working conditions on uninspected vessels, it has not taken sufficient action to preempt OSHA from regulating specific working conditions on such vessels that have not been addressed by the Coast Guard. Source: HK Law

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