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 for private sector (businesses and nonprofit organizations) employers, but only with federal approval, and only if the applicable state requirements are as stringent as the corresponding federal standards.
Because Arkansas has not adopted such a regulatory program, the federal law governs workplace health and safety requirements for private sector workplaces. There is additional information and a detailed discussion of the federal standards.