This topic covers the structure and function of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the federal agency responsible for administering and enforcing the federal OSH Act. OSHA regulations set out uniform national standards for workplace safety and health practices throughout the country. State and local government (public sector) employers are not regulated under federal OSHA, and also not covered are self-employed individuals, family members operating farms, and domestic household workers. Some state OSHA agencies regulate public sector employers.
There are OSHA rules that cover general industry workplaces, construction, maritime, marine terminals, shipbuilding, agriculture, longshoring, and more.
Some states have their own federally approved occupational safety and health regulatory programs; these are known as “state-plan” states. Regulations in state-plan states must be at least as stringent as federal OSHA regulations, but states may adopt stricter regulations.
Refer to the following charts for an overview of state differences in safety and health regulations: