OSHA laws & HR compliance analysis

OSHA: What you need to know

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) (29 USC 651et seq.; 29 CFR 1900et seq.) was designed to “assure, as far as possible, every working man and woman in the nation safe working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” It attempts to achieve this end through a set of uniform national standards for workplace safety and health practices throughout the country. The U.S. Department of Labor/Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was given the power by Congress to administer and enforce the standards and make surprise inspections to ensure that employers adhere to the regulations of occupational safety and health established by the OSH Act.
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The OSH Act governs occupational safety and health in the private employment sector (private businesses and nonprofit organizations). The OSH Act applies to all workplaces and activities involved in interstate commerce, regardless of the number of employees; in general industry, construction, maritime, and agriculture. The term “interstate commerce” is given a very liberal interpretation, making the OSH Act applicable to all enterprises, with some specific exemptions. Workplace safety and health at federal facilities are governed by each federal agency's own rules. Other public sector employers (state, county, and local government offices and operations) are governed by state rules in states that have public sector rules.
Exemptions. The following employers are not covered by the OSH Act:
• Self-employed persons
• Farms at which only immediate members of the farmer's family are employed
• Working conditions regulated by other federal agencies under other federal statutes, including mining, nuclear energy and ...

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