The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) allows individual states to adopt and administer their own workplace safety laws and regulations, but only if the state program has federal approval. To qualify, a state plan must contain regulations that are at least as strict as federal standards. Montana has its own occupational safety and health Act, including “right-to-know” legislation, but it does not have federal approval; therefore, federal right-to-know standards govern employers in all private employment.
The federal law is basically a disclosure rule that requires private employers with hazardous substances in their workplaces to develop comprehensive hazard communication programs, and to inform and train their employees about chemical hazards in the workplace.
Worker right-to-know compliance is part of every Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspection, regardless of the underlying reason for the inspection. Right-to-know violations are a frequent source of OSHA citations. Beyond the physical dangers a violation may create for employees and employers, substantial fines may be imposed, making right-to-know compliance a high priority for just about every employer (29 CFR 1910.1200). There is additional information and a detailed discussion of the federal regulations.