Safety and Health in the Workplace:
Occupational Safety and Health
The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was enacted to "assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women." The OSH Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the federal level and provided that states could run their own safety and health programs as long as those programs were at least as effective as the federal program. Federal and state safety personnel work to ensure worker safety and health through worksite enforcement, education and compliance assistance, and cooperative and voluntary programs. Enforcement and administration of the OSH Act in states under federal jurisdiction is handled primarily by OSHA. Safety and health standards related to field sanitation and certain temporary labor camps in the agriculture industry are enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) in states under federal jurisdiction.
If a worksite is located in a state plan state, additional safety and health requirements may apply.
- Employment Law Guide - Occupational Safety and Health - Provides a summary the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Compliance Information - Provides a portal to OSHA's compliance assistance resources.
- Safety and Health Topics - Provides links to specific compliance information on various safety and health issues (e.g., ergonomics, hazard communication, bloodborne pathogens, asbestos, and workplace violence).
- Frequently Asked Questions - Questions and Answers about safety and health.
- Cooperative Programs - Describes several available cooperative programs designed to enhance worksite safety and health.
- Small Business - Provides a portal to OSHA resources for smaller employers.
- OSHA en Español (Hispanic Outreach) - OSHA’s Spanish-language page. OSHA’s Hispanic Employers and Workers page is for English-speaking and bilingual employers with Spanish-speaking workers.
- Occupational Safety and Health Statistics
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Fact Sheets - Provides an index and links to OSHA safety and health fact sheets.
- Field Sanitation Standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Act - Explains the requirements for certain agricultural employers to provide sanitation facilities to workers in the field. The standards are administered and enforced by the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division.
- Compliance Assistance Quick Start - Provides introductory step-by-step instruction to OSHA compliance assistance resources.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) E-Tools and Electronic Products for Compliance Assistance - Provides links to e-tools, Power Point® presentations, and CD-ROMs.
- elaws OSHA Confined Spaces Advisor - Helps companies identify confined spaces and handle them appropriately.
- elaws OSHA Fire Safety Advisor - Helps companies understand how to apply OSHA's fire safety standards.
- elaws OSHA Hazard Awareness Advisor - Helps companies identify hazards in general industry.
- elaws OSHA Software Expert Advisors - Provides several Windows®-based, expert systems that can be downloaded and run on a PC. Each provides information on how OSHA regulations apply to unique work sites.
Employers subject to the OSH Act are required to post a notice notifying employees of the protections of the Act. Poster Requirement.
Every employer covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) who has more than 10 employees, except for employers in certain low-hazard industries in the retail, finance, insurance, real estate, and service sectors, must maintain specific records of job related injuries and illnesses.
The OSHA Form 300 is an injury/illness log, with a separate line entry for each recordable injury or illness. Such events include work related deaths, injuries, and illnesses other than minor injuries that require only first aid treatment and that do not involve medical treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work, or transfer to another job. Each year, the employer must conspicuously post in the workplace a Form 300A, which includes a summary of the previous year's work-related injuries and illnesses. Employers must also record individual incident reports that provide added detail about each specific recordable injury or illness. OSHA Web page on Recordkeeping.
- 29 CFR Parts 70 to 2400 - Regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that cover a broad array of subjects, including procedures for state agreements; standards applicable to specific industries, such as shipyards, marine terminals, and agriculture; recording and reporting occupational injuries and illness; safety standards; health standards; and criteria for assessment of penalties.
- Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act - Establishes standards related to the safety and health of employer-provided transportation and housing for agricultural workers. These standards are enforced by the Employment Standards Administration's Wage and Hour Division (WHD).
- H-2A Provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act - Establishes standards related to the safety and health of employer-provided transportation and housing for temporary non-immigrant agricultural workers. These standards are enforced by the WHD.
- Pesticide Compliance and Enforcement - Protects agricultural workers from the effects of exposure to pesticides. This standard is enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Tel.: 1-800-321-OSHA (1-800-321-6742)
Wage and Hour Division
200 Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20210
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243)
- For questions on other DOL laws,
please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.
Tel: 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365)
*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.