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Laboratory Safety Programs

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

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Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) Logo
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) (see reuse policy).

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Under the auspices of the United States Department of Labor, OSHA is responsible for the development and enforcement of workplace safety and health regulations. OSHA regulations are concerned with all workplaces and employees in the United States, from agriculture to robotics, from laboratories to construction.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration:

  • Creates and enforces regulations
  • Provides compliance assistance
  • Produces safety and health related publications
  • Collects data and publishes statistics
  • Approves and monitors state plans

Even with the existence of a federal safety and health administration, many states have their own safety programs. Each state plan must set job safety and health standards that are at least as effective as the complementary federal standards. The states must also conduct inspections to enforce their own standards and operate safety and health training and educational programs. At present, twenty-one states and Puerto Rico have OSHA approved state plans. New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have plans that cover only state and local government employees. Visit the OSHA website for a complete list of states that have OSHA approved plans. It is the responsibility of the laboratory's safety officer to ensure compliance with either federal or state OSHA regulations.01

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