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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Workplace Safety & Health

Occupational Safety & 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 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.