Most of the standards established to ensure that workplaces are safe and healthful for employees are set forth in federal regulations adopted under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act. 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.
California is among the “state-plan” states that have adopted appropriate laws and regulations, have gained approval from federal authorities, and now operate their own programs. The agency responsible for administering and enforcing the program is known as the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA), and it has offices throughout the state. California has adopted the federal standards in their entirety, and it has extended its enforcement authority beyond private business to the public sector as well (CA Code Regs. Tit. 8; CA Labor Code Sec. 6300et seq.). In addition to the federal standards, California has several additional requirements of its own that are more stringent than those adopted under the federal law. Information on additional state requirements that deal with the communication of chemical hazards is available.