Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. Rhode Island is not a "state plan" state; that is, it does not have a federally approved occupational safety and health regulatory program. Therefore, the federal OSH Act governs workplace safety and health in the private sector (commercial establishments, nonprofit organizations, and private businesses except private schools).
Rhode Island has adopted the federal OSHA safety and health standards by reference for public sector employers, and has adopted public sector rules for hazard communication that are stricter than federal rules. See the state sections HAZARD COMMUNICATION STANDARD and MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET for more information.
Certain contractors who bid on municipal and state construction projects must provide construction safety education to their on-site employees.
For information on the federal requirements, see the national sections HAZARD COMMUNICATION STANDARD, MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET, and OSHA.
• Administration and enforcement. OSHA administers and enforces occupational safety and health in the private sector in Rhode Island. The Occupational Safety Unit administers and enforces occupational safety and health rules in public sector workplaces, including certain construction contractors. The Professional Regulation Unit administers the rules for construction contractor training.
Public Sector Defined
RI Gen. Laws 28-20-1
The state defines “public sector workplaces” as a state agency or an agency of any political subdivision of the state, which includes municipal governments, public buildings, public school systems, and commissions. All such workplaces are covered under state workplace safety and health rules. DLT ...