Iowa Safety and Health: What you need to know

Health and safety in the workplace are regulated in large part according to standards developed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), a federal law. The law provides for individual states to devise and administer their own work safety laws and regulations, but only with federal approval and only if the applicable state requirements are at least as stringent as the corresponding federal standards.
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Iowa is among the “state-plan” states, which means it has received federal approval for its state plan, governing both private and public workplaces. Iowa's standards are, in most important respects, identical to those established by the federal government. The state law is administered and enforced by the Iowa Workforce Development's Division of Labor (DOL).
Iowa offers a special recognition program for qualified employers that develop and implement exemplary safety and health programs. A Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) certificate can be awarded through OSHA to employers that have worked with DOL for at least one year, have had a comprehensive DOL consultation, and meet certain other conditions. Employers that are recognized with an initial SHARP certificate may be exempt from generally scheduled OSHA inspections for one year.
The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) is similar to the SHARP program in many respects. In the VPP, management, labor, and OSHA establish a cooperative relationship at a workplace that has implemented a strong safety and health program. Federal OSHA's experience in the VPP has also shown that effective management of safety and health protection ...

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