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NNOSHA "Act 2000" Designation of Agency, § 1431- Navajo Nation Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NNOSHA) is hereby designated as the regulatory agency to administer the Navajo Nation Occupational Safety and Health Act, and authorized to take all actions necessary to secure to the Navajo Nation benefits of federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration consultation services and federal legislation related to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

NNOSHA shall:

  • Encourage employers and employees within the territorial jurisdiction of the Navajo Nation to reduce occupational safety and health hazards.
  • Monitor and enforce compliance with Navajo Occupational Safety and Health Standards.
  • Upon receipt of a complaint, NNOSHA will conduct an unscheduled site visit/inspection of the operation(s) the complaint was received on.
  • In addition, the "Authorized Inspector" may shut down operations immediately.
  • Institute legal proceedings and enforcement to compel compliance within the NNOSHA ACT.
  • In performing an inspection or investigation to determine if there is reasonable belief that a violation exists, a written citation may be issued. Depends upon the hazards at the site, a fine is issued to the employer of up to $5,000.00 citation per number of employees exposed within the violation.


The Navajo Nation OSHA program was established in 1986 by the (then) Navajo Labor Investigative Task Force.

The Task Force received many complaints from employees throughout the Navajo Nation, that result in injuries to workers, which are preventable by applicable occupational safety and health regulatory standards or enforcement.

U.S. Court of Appeals Tenth Circuit (Nov. 1982)

Navajo Forestry Production Industries

  • In May through October 1976, Federal OSHA visited the NFPI facility in the Navajo NM (Navajo Nation).
  • Citations were issued to NFPI in the amount of $4,040.00, one serious and 53 "other than serious" violations.
  • NFPI appealed the citation through FOSHA.
  • All appeals were not favorable to NFPI & Navajo Nation.
  • Appeal reached the U.S. Courts of Appeals Tenth Circuit of November 1982.
  • The U.S. Courts of Appeals Tenth Circuit heard the oral argument.
  • The courts ruled that the Navajo Nation was a "Sovereign Indian Nation" (Treaty Tribe).
  • Therefore, Federal OSHA had no authority (10th Circuit Courts).
  • Thus, the Navajo Nation has an obligation to protect the Navajo People from work related injuries and deaths.
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