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Texas Facilities: What you need to know

Workplace facilities are regulated principally by standards established under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). The federal scheme permits individual states to devise and enforce their own laws and regulations, but only with federal approval, and only if the applicable state plan requirements are as stringent as the corresponding federal standards.
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Because Texas has not adopted such a plan, the federal law governs workplace health and safety requirements in the private sector. The Act is administered and enforced by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and mandates that employers provide a safe and healthful workplace. There is additional information and a detailed discussion of the federal standards.
Under the Texas Labor Code (TX Lab. Code Sec. 411.103), it is the duty of an employer to:
• Provide and maintain a workplace that is reasonably safe and healthful for employees.
• Use methods and processes of sanitation and hygiene to protect the health of employees.
• Take all other actions reasonably necessary to make the place of employment safe.
These requirements are enforced by the Texas Workforce Commission. State law mirrors the federal OSH Act. For more information, call the Employers Hot Line at 800-832-9394.
The Workers' Health and Safety Division of the Texas Department of Insurance also helps private-sector employers identify and resolve problems with their facility safety and health management systems. The Division has an employer resources Web page at www.tdi.state.tx.us.
Under Texas law, public places of employment, i.e., where persons work for city, county, or state agencies, or public schools, ...

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