The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) is “preemptive;” that is, it overrides state work safety and health laws and regulations in the areas that it covers. Since it covers virtually all areas of workplace health and safety in the private sector, it supplants most state work safety requirements. Under the OSH Act, individual states may devise and administer their own standards, but only with federal approval and only if the applicable state requirements are as stringent as the corresponding federal standards.
Because Colorado has not adopted its own plan, federal standards are the governing law for private sector employers (businesses and nonprofit organizations) in the state. There are no laws or regulations that govern workplace safety and health in the public sector (state and local offices and operations, school systems, and commissions) in Colorado. Federal facilities are covered under federal agency safety and health rules.