Wisconsin Facilities: What you need to know

State standards preempted. Many of Wisconsin's state laws and regulations on workplace facilities are, in essence, work safety standards. However, over the years, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) has taken over compliance in the safety field. While some states have obtained authority from the federal government to devise and enforce their own occupational health and safety laws, Wisconsin is not among them. This means that Wisconsin is permitted to enforce standards only for facilities in areas not taken over by the federal government.
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Employer's "general duty." Like many states, Wisconsin has a general duty provision requiring employers to provide a workplace that is as safe as the nature of the employment will reasonably permit. Employers are obligated to do everything that is reasonably necessary to protect the lives, health, and safety of employees. To the extent that the federal law contains loopholes, this law is intended to fill them (WI Stat. Sec. 101.011).
Public employees. The federal OSH Act covers only private employers. However, Wisconsin has a statute that gives public workers all the rights and protections that are granted to employees in the private sector under the OSH Act (WI Stat. Sec. 101.055). The Safety and Building Division of the Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) is responsible for the safety and health of public sector employees.
Fire detection and prevention. Owners of places of employment must install fire detection, prevention, and/or suppression devices to protect the safety of employes and visitors (WI Stat. Sec. 101.025).
Ventilation. Ventilation systems in places of employment and public buildings must provide ...

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