The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) is “preemptive”; that is, it overrides state laws and regulations in the areas it covers. Since this amounts to virtually all areas of workplace health and safety in the private sector, the OSH Act supplants most state work safety requirements. Under the OSH Act, individual states may devise and administer their own laws and regulations, but only with federal approval, and only if the applicable state requirements are as stringent as the corresponding federal standards.
Because New York has not adopted such a plan for its private sector workplaces, the federal law governs private sector workplace health and safety requirements. A detailed discussion of the federal standards is available.