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Workplace Safety & Health

Workplace Safety & Health


Three Department of Labor (DOL) agencies have responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the laws enacted to protect the safety and health of workers in America.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration
    • OSHA administers the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.
    • Safety and health conditions in most private industries are regulated by OSHA or OSHA-approved state systems.
    • Nearly every employee in the nation comes under OSHA’s jurisdiction with some exceptions such as miners, some transportation workers, many public employees, and the self-employed.
    • Employers subject to the OSH Act also have a general duty to provide work and a workplace free from recognized, serious hazards.
  • Mine Safety and Health Administration
    • DOL’s MSHA has responsibility for administration and enforcement of the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which protects the safety and health of workers employed in the nation’s mines.
    • The Act applies to all mining and mineral processing operations in the United States, regardless of size, number of employees, or method of extraction.
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
    • FLSA contains rules concerning the employment of young workers, those under the age of 18, and is administered and enforced by DOL’s Wage and Hour Division. Intended to protect the health and well-being of youth in America, the FLSA contains minimum age restrictions for employment, restrictions on the times of day youth may work, and the jobs they may perform.
  • Other resources

For help in determining which safety and health standards apply to particular employment situations, select from the subtopics lists. Also, see the Office of Compliance Assistance Policy’s Web pages on safety and health in the workplace.

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1 Comment

  1. tom winike says:

    it is interesting that big corporations with poor safety records also poison our rivers and pollute the air. Is this ESCO the same bunch that was caught with an illegal dump on Sauvie Island? . . .the folk at the Pumpkin Patch Farm said there was a lot of concern about bringing kids to play on the island. That’s just wrong, the island belongs to Oregonians, not some east coast corporation

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