Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. Wisconsin is not a "state plan" state; that is, it does not have a federally approved occupational safety and health program. Consequently, the federal OSH Act governs the workplace safety and health in the private sector (private businesses and nonprofit organizations).
Wisconsin’s safety and health rules govern public sector (state and local government offices and operations) workplaces. The state has adopted the federal rules by reference and adopted several rules that are stricter than federal standards, including injury and illness reporting, hazard communication requirements related to infectious agents, and permissible exposure limits for air contaminants. For information on public sector worker right-to-know requirements, see the state sections HAZARD COMMUNICATION STANDARD and MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET.
• Administration and enforcement. OSHA administers and enforces occupational safety and health in the private sector in Wisconsin. The Department of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) administers and enforces the state’s public sector workplace safety and health standards.
Public Sector Defined
SPS 330.01 and SPS 332.01
A “public sector” employer covered under the state workplace safety and health rules means the state, any state agency, or any political subdivision of the state. The subdivisions include municipal and county governments, public organizations engaged in fire fighting, and public schools and universities.