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Feds to take over some local job safety oversight

The federal government will take over regulation of occupational safety in certain industries in Hawaii from the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations because of deficiencies in oversight at the local level.

The two sides will sign an agreement in which the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will take control for a three-year period while the working with the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to strengthen the Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division.

“One of my first and ongoing priorities in the department has been the restoration of HIOSH, said Dwight Takamine, DLIR director. “Part of that effort has involved staff recruitment for the division and  continuously seeking advice and help from our federal partners.”

Takamine said the effectiveness of HIOSH suffered from the elimination of 32 of its 51 positions during budget cuts made by the Lingle Administration.

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