May 2, 2018 by
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created at the federal level on December 29, 1970, with the goal of assuring “safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.” Since its creation, the agency has evolved and become commonplace in the workers’ compensation scene as a means of investigating work injuries and providing information to interested stakeholders. Parties seeking to reduce workers’ compensation program costs should understand OSHA and view the agency as a partner in making workplaces safe for employees.
Understanding OSHA Basics
There are many misconceptions about OSHA. It is important to those seeking to provide a safe workplace to understand better the requirements and how the agency is responsible for enforcing safety standards.
OSHA standards and agency overview covers most private sector employers. While it does not cover many state and local government agencies, employees of these entities are subject to protections by the federal act and applicable state programs.
The federal act also allows states to create their own OSHA programs. In these jurisdictions, the state agency receives funding from the federal government to run its program. This allows states to develop their own standards, provided they meet the federal minimums required under the Act. There are currently 22 OSHA approved programs that include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.