OSHA-Approved State Programs

The Occupational Safety and Health Act encourages states to develop and operate, under federal OSHA guidance, state occupational safety and health programs. Once a state plan is approved, OSHA funds up to 50 percent of the program's operating costs. States are required to provide standards and enforcement programs, as well as voluntary compliance activities, which are at least as effective as the federal program.

To gain OSHA approval as a developmental plan, a state must demonstrate that within three years it will provide:

  • Adequate legislation,

  • Standards-setting,

  • Enforcement and appeals procedures,

  • Public employee protection,

  • A sufficient number of competent enforcement personnel, and

  • Training education and technical assistance programs.

If, at any time during this period or later, it appears that the state is capable of enforcing standards in accordance with the above requirements, OSHA may enter into an "operational status agreement" with the state. OSHA generally limits its enforcement activity to areas not covered by the state in the agreement and ceases all concurrent federal enforcement. Scheduled, accident and complaint inspections are generally the primary responsibility of the state. OSHA closely monitors state programs.

When all development steps concerning legislation, resources and other requirements have been completed and approved, OSHA certifies that a state has the legal, administrative, and enforcement means necessary to operate effectively. This action renders no judgement on how well or poorly a state is actually operating its program but merely attests to the structural completeness of its program. After this certification, there is a period of at least one year to determine if a state is effectively providing safety and health protection. If it is found that the state is operating at an effective level and other requirements including compliance staffing levels are met, final approval of the plan may be granted and federal authority will cease in those areas over which the state has jurisdiction.

OSHA continues its monitoring and evaluation of the state program to assure the state maintains its level of effectiveness. If this level should decline, OSHA can begin proceedings to withdraw approval of the program and to reinstitute federal enforcement authority.

If your state operates an OSHA-approved state program, you should become familiar with it. State safety and health standards under approved plans must keep pace with federal standards, and state plans must guarantee employer and employee rights as does federal OSHA.

State plans developed for the private sector also must, to the extent permitted by state law, provide coverage for state and local government employees. OSHA rules also permit states to develop plans limited in coverage to public sector (state and local government) employees only; in such cases, private sector employment remains under federal jurisdiction.

Anyone finding inadequacies or other problems in the administration of a state's program may file a complaint about state program administration with the appropriate regional administrator for OSHA. The complainant's name is kept confidential. OSHA investigates all such complaints and, where complaints are found to be valid, requires appropriate corrective action on the part of the state.

Employee Information | OSHA

Employers are responsible for keeping employees informed about OSHA and about the various safety and health matters with which they are involved. Federal OSHA and states with their own occupational safety and health programs require that each employer post certain materials at a prominent location in the workplace. These include:

  • "Job Safety and Health Protection" (OSHA 2203) or "It's the Law" (OSHA 3165) workplace poster or a state equivalent informing employees of their rights and responsibilities under the Act. Besides displaying the workplace poster, the employer must make copies of the Act and copies of relevant OSHA rules and regulations available to employees upon request.

  • Summaries of petitions for variances from standards or recordkeeping procedures.

  • Copies of all OSHA citations for violations of standards. These must remain posted at or near the location of alleged violations for three days, or until the violations are abated, whichever is longer.

  • Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA 300A).

The 300A Summary must be posted no later than February 1 and remain in place until April 30. Many employers post it all year.

All employees have the right to examine any records kept by their employers regarding exposure to hazardous materials, or the results of medical surveillance. This is found in 29 CFR Part 1910.1020.

Occasionally, OSHA standards or NIOSH research activities will require an employer to measure and record employee exposure to potentially harmful substances. Employees have the right (in person or through their authorized representative) to be present during the measuring as well as to examine records of the results.

Under these substance-specific requirements each employee or former employee has the right to see his or her examination records, and must be told by the employer if exposure has exceeded the levels set by standards. The employee must also be told what corrective measures are being taken.

In addition to having access to records, employees in manufacturing facilities must be provided information about all of the hazardous chemicals in their work areas. Employers are to provide this information by means of labels on containers, material safety data sheets, and training programs.

Recordkeeping and Reporting | OSHA

Recordkeeping and Reporting

Before the Act became effective, no centralized and systematic method existed for monitoring occupational safety and health problems. Statistics on job injuries and illnesses were collected by some states and by some private organizations; national figures were based on not-altogether-reliable projections. With OSHA came the first basis for consistent, nationwide procedures — a vital requirement for gauging problems and solving them.

29 CFR Part 1904 requires that employers with 11 or more employees maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses as they occur. Employers with 10 or fewer employees are exempt from keeping such records unless they are selected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to participate in the Annual Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses or OSHA to participate in the site-specific injury and illness survey.

The purposes of keeping records are to permit injury and illness data to be compiled, to help define high hazard industries, and to inform employees of the status of their employer's record. Employers in state plan states are required to keep the same records as employers in other states.

Recordable Injuries and Illnesses

An injury or illness is recordable if it results in death; days away from work; restricted work; transfer to another job; medical treatment beyond first aid; loss of consciousness; or a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or healthcare professional (HCP).

  • Death

    Record an injury or illness that results in an employee's death on the OSHA 300 Log and report it to OSHA within eight hours.

  • Days away from work

    When an injury or illness involves one or more days away from work, record it on the OSHA 300 Log known. Begin counting days away on the day after the injury occurred or the illness began.

  • Restricted work

    Restricted work occurs when you keep the employee from performing one or more routine job functions; from working the full workday that he or she would otherwise have been scheduled to work; or a HCP recommends that the employee not perform routine functions the job, or work a full workday.

  • Job transfer

    If you assign an injured or ill employee to a job other than his or her regular job for part of the day, the case involves transfer to another job.

  • Medical treatment beyond first aid

    If a work-related injury or illness results in medical treatment beyond first aid, record it on the OSHA 300 Log. OSHA's list of first aid treatments is inclusive, that is, you can look at it and without elaborate analysis, can determine whether a treatment is first aid and thus not recordable.

  • Loss of consciousness

    Every work-related injury or illness case involving a complete loss of consciousness (not merely a sense of disorientation or other diminished level of awareness) is recordable, regardless of the length of time the employee remains unconscious.

  • Significant injury or illness

    Significant diagnosed work-related injuries or illnesses are recordable under the general criteria, even if they do not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness.

Verbal Report to OSHA

If an on-the-job accident occurs which results in the death of an employee or in the hospitalization of three or more employees, all employers, regardless of the number of employees, are required to verbally report the accident within eight hours to the nearest OSHA office or the national OSHA hotline at (800) 321-OSHA (6742).

In states with approved plans, employers report such accidents to the state agency responsible for safety and health programs.

Injury and Illness Records

Employers must keep injury and illness records for each establishment. An establishment is a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. For activities where employees do not work at a single physical location, such as construction; transportation; communications, electric, gas and sanitary services; and similar operations, the establishment is represented by main or branch offices, terminals, stations, etc. that either supervise such activities or are the base from which personnel carry out these activities.

An employer whose employees work in dispersed locations must keep records at the place where the employees report for work. For employees who telecommute from home, the employee's home is not a business establishment and a separate 300 Log is not required. Employees who telecommute must be linked to one of the company's establishments.

OSHA Recordkeeping Forms

Recordkeeping forms are maintained on a calendar year basis. The forms are not routinely sent to OSHA or any other agency, however, OSHA may request the information in a survey format. Recordkeeping forms must be maintained for five years at the establishment and must be available for inspection by representatives of OSHA, HHS, BLS or the designated state agency.

OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses: The OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses replaces the OSHA 200. Use the OSHA 300 to document recordable injuries and illnesses, either electronically or on paper. You may use forms that are different from the OSHA 300 Log, provided that the electronic record or paper forms are equivalent to the 300 Log. Record the injury or illness within seven calendar days of receiving information that it occurred.

OSHA 301 Injury and Illness Incident Report: The OSHA 301 Injury and Illness Incident Report replaces the OSHA 101. For each recordable injury or illness on the 300 Log, complete a 301 Incident Report form, or an equivalent. The 301 is designed to accommodate lengthier, detailed information about the incident. Many employers use an insurance form instead of the 301 Incident Report, or supplement an insurance form by adding any additional information required by OSHA. Record the injury or illness within seven calendar days of receiving information that it occurred.

OSHA 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses: The OSHA 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses is a new form for posting the annual summary of injuries and illnesses. At the end of each calendar year:

  • Review your 300 Log to verify that the entries are complete and accurate, and correct any deficiencies identified.

  • Create an annual summary by totaling the columns on the 300 Log. If you had no recordable cases, enter zeros for each column total. Using the OSHA Form 300A (or an equivalent), enter the calendar year covered, the establishment name and address, annual average number of employees covered by the 300 Log, and the total hours worked by all employees covered by the Log. If you are using an equivalent form, also include the employee access and employer penalty statements found on the OSHA 300A Summary.

  • Certify that the information is accurate. A company executive must certify that he or she has examined the 300 Log and believes that the summary is correct and complete. The company executive may be the owner (only if the company is a sole proprietorship or partnership), an officer in the corporation, the highest ranking official (or immediate supervisor) working at the establishment.

  • Post a copy of the annual summary in each establishment in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees are customarily posted. Post it no later than February 1 of the year following the year covered by the records and keep the posting in place until April 30. Ensure that it is always available for viewing by employees.

Equivalent Forms

You may keep injury and illness records on computer equipment only if the computer system can produce paper copy equivalent forms when access to them is required by OSHA, an employee or former employee, or employee representative. Also, the records may be emailed. A form is considered "equivalent" when it:

  • Has the same information,

  • Is as readable and understandable, and

  • Is completed using the same instructions as the OSHA form it replaces.

Annual BLS Survey: Employers selected to participate in the annual statistical survey receive in the mail, soon after the close of the year, a form for this purpose. Each employer selected must complete this report, using the OSHA 300 Log as the source of information, and return it to BLS. Small business employers, those with 10 or fewer employees that are normally exempted from keeping injury and illness records, may be selected to complete the survey. In this case, they are notified at the beginning of the year and supplied with an OSHA 300 Log.

Annual OSHA Reporting Survey: Employers selected to participate in OSHA's annual site-specific injury and illness survey will receive in the mail a survey form to complete. The survey requires each employer to report the number of workers employed, the number of hours worked, and occupational injuries and illnesses recorded on the OSHA 300 Log during the specified time period. The completed survey must be returned to OSHA within 30 calendar days or the time period indicated on the survey form.

Employers that are normally exempt from OSHA's injury and illness recordkeeping requirements may also be required to complete a survey. These employers will be notified a year in advance that they have been selected to participate in the information collection procedure and must then maintain injury and illness data for the upcoming year. At the end of the year, they will receive a survey from OSHA to be completed and returned within 30 calendar days.

In addition, many specific OSHA standards have recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

Posting Requirements

A copy of the totals and summary information for the year must be posted at each establishment wherever notices to employees are customarily posted. For the year 2001, an OSHA 200 summary must be posted by February 1 and kept in place until March 1. Beginning with 2002 reporting, an OSHA 300A must be completed and posted from February 1 through April 30. When no injuries or illnesses occurred during the year, enter zeros on the "totals" line and post the form for the required time period.

Recordkeeping Variances

Employers wishing to set up a recordkeeping system different from the one required by OSHA regulations may apply for a recordkeeping variance. Petitions for recordkeeping variances must detail and justify the employer's intended procedures and must be submitted to the regional commissioner of BLS for the area in which the workplace is located. Similarly, in state plan states, only BLS can grant a variance from recordkeeping requirements.

As with applications for variances from standards, an employer filing for a recordkeeping variance must give a copy of the application to the employees' authorized representative. The employer also must post a summary of the application wherever notices are normally posted. Employees have 10 working days to submit to BLS their own written data, views or arguments.

Standards and Regulations | OSHA

Standards and Regulations

In carrying out its duties, OSHA is responsible for promulgating legally enforceable standards and regulations. The difference between a standard and a regulation is that:

  • Standards aim toward correction of identified hazards, while

  • Regulations serve general enforcement and detection purposes.

OSHA standards and regulations may require conditions, or the adoption or use of one or more practices, means, methods or processes reasonably necessary and appropriate to protect workers on the job.

It is the employers' responsibility to become familiar with the standards and regulations applicable to their establishments. Likewise, employees are responsible to comply with all rules or regulations which are applicable their own actions and conduct. Where OSHA has not promulgated specific standards, employers are responsible for following the Act's General Duty Clause.

The General Duty Clause of the Act states that each employer "shall furnish … a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."

States with OSHA-approved occupational safety and health programs must set standards and regulations which are at least as effective as the federal. Many state-plan states adopt those identical to the federal.

Where to Get Copies

OSHA standards and regulations fall into four major categories — General Industry, Maritime, Construction and Agriculture.

The Federal Register is one of the best sources of information, since all OSHA standards and regulations are published there initially as proposals and notices, then as final rules, all amendments, corrections, insertions or deletions. The Federal Register is available in many public and university libraries. Annual subscriptions are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. For current prices, contact the GPO.

Each year the Office of the Federal Register publishes all current regulations and standards in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), available at many libraries and from the Government Printing Office. OSHA's regulations are collected in Title 29 of the CFR, Part 1900–1999.

Twenty-two states plus Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands enforce their own occupational safety and health standards which can be more stringent than federal requirements. Copies of state standards must be obtained from the individual states.

Developing Standards and Regulations

OSHA can begin standards-setting procedures on its own initiative or as the result of a Congressional mandate. The regulatory process may also be initiated in response to petitions from other parties, including the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS); the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH); state and local governments; any nationally-recognized standards-producing organization, employer or labor representatives; or any other interested person.

Advisory Committees

If OSHA determines that a specific standard is needed, any of several advisory committees may be called upon to develop specific recommendations. There are two standing committees, and ad hoc committees may be appointed to examine special areas of concern to OSHA.

All advisory committees, standing or ad hoc, must have members representing management, labor and state agencies, as well as one or more designees of the Secretary of HHS. The occupational safety and health professions and the general public also may be represented. The two standing advisory committees are:

  • National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health (NACOSH), which advises, consults with, and makes recommendations to the Secretary of HHS, and to the Secretary of Labor on matters regarding administration of the Act.

  • Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, which advises the Secretary of Labor on formulation of construction safety and health standards and other regulations.

Ad hoc committees are also appointed by the Secretary of Labor and operate in a manner similar to standing committees, but are limited in duration to 270 days.

NIOSH Recommendations

Recommendations for standards also may come from NIOSH, established by the Act as an agency of the Department of HHS.

NIOSH conducts research on various safety and health problems, provides technical assistance to OSHA and recommends standards for OSHA's adoption. Especially important is NIOSH's investigation of toxic substances and its development of criteria for the use of such substances in the workplace.

While conducting its research, NIOSH may make workplace investigations, gather testimony from employers and employees and require that employers measure and report employee exposure to potentially hazardous materials. NIOSH may also require employers to provide medical examinations and tests to determine the incidence of occupational illness among employees. When such examinations and tests are required by NIOSH for research purposes, they may be paid for by NIOSH rather than the employer.

Rulemaking Process

Once OSHA has developed plans to propose, amend, or delete a standard or rule, it publishes these intentions in the Federal Register as a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking," or often as an earlier "Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking."

An "Advance Notice" is used to solicit information that can be used in drafting a proposal. The notice will include the terms of the new rule and provide a specific time (at least 30 days from the date of publication, usually 60 days or more) for the public to respond.

Interested parties who submit written arguments and pertinent evidence may request a public hearing on the proposal when none has been announced in the notice. When such a hearing is requested, OSHA must schedule one, and must publish, in advance, the time and place for it in the Federal Register.

After the close of the comment period or public hearing, OSHA must publish in the Federal Register the full, final text of any standard amended or adopted and the date it becomes effective, along with an explanation of the standard and the reasons for implementing it. OSHA may also publish a determination that no standard or amendment needs to be issued.

Emergency Temporary Standards

Under certain limited conditions, OSHA is authorized to set emergency temporary standards and regulations which take effect immediately and are in effect until superseded by a permanent version. OSHA must determine that workers are in grave danger due to exposure to toxic substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or new hazards and that an emergency standard is needed to protect them.

Then, OSHA publishes the emergency temporary rule or standard in the Federal Register, where it also serves as a proposed permanent standard or rule. It is then subject to the usual procedure for adoption except that a final ruling must be made within six months. The validity of an emergency temporary rule or standard may be challenged in an appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals.


No decision on a permanent status is ever reached without due consideration of the arguments and data received from the public in written submissions and at hearings. However, any person who may be adversely affected by a final or emergency rule or standard may file a petition (within 60 days of the rule's issuance) for judicial review of the standard with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the circuit in which the objector lives or has his or her principal place of business. Filing an appeals petition, however, will not delay the enforcement of a standard, unless the Court of Appeals specifically orders it.


Employers may ask OSHA for a variance from a standard or regulation if they cannot fully comply by the effective date, due to shortages of materials, equipment or professional or technical personnel, or can prove their facilities or methods of operation provide employee protection "at least as effective as" that required by OSHA.

Employers located in states with their own occupational safety and health programs should apply to the state for a variance. However, if an employer operates facilities in states under federal OSHA jurisdiction and also in state plan states, the employer may apply directly to federal OSHA for a single variance applicable to all the establishments in question.

OSHA will then work with the state plan states involved to determine if a variance can be granted which will satisfy state as well as federal OSHA requirements.

Temporary Variance

A temporary variance may be granted to an employer who cannot comply with a standard or regulation by its effective date, due to unavailability of professional or technical personnel, materials or equipment, or because the necessary construction or alteration of facilities cannot be completed in time.

The employer must demonstrate to OSHA that he or she is taking all available steps to safeguard employees in the meantime, and that the employer has put in force an effective program for coming into compliance with the standard or regulation as quickly as possible.

A temporary variance may be granted for the period needed to achieve compliance or for one year, whichever is shorter. It is renewable twice, each time for six months. An application for a temporary variance must identify the standard or portion of a standard from which the variance is requested and the reasons why the employer cannot comply with the standard. The employer must document those measures already taken and to be taken (including dates) to comply with the standard.

The employer must certify that workers have been informed of the variance application, that a copy has been given to the employees' authorized representative, and that a summary of the application has been posted wherever notices are normally posted. Employees must also be informed that they have the right to request a hearing on the application.

The temporary variance will not be granted to an employer who simply cannot afford to pay for the necessary alterations, equipment or personnel.

Permanent Variance

A permanent variance (alternative to a particular requirement or standard) may be granted to employers who prove their conditions, practices, means, methods, operations or processes provide a safe and healthful workplace as effectively as would compliance with the standard.

In making a determination, OSHA weighs the employer's evidence and arranges a variance inspection and hearing where appropriate. If OSHA finds the request valid, it prescribes a permanent variance detailing the employer's specific exceptions and responsibilities under the ruling.

When applying for a permanent variance, the employer must inform employees of the application and of their right to request a hearing. Anytime after six months from the issuance of a permanent variance, the employer or employees may petition OSHA to modify or revoke it. OSHA also may do this of its own accord.

Interim Order

So that an employer may continue to operate under existing conditions until a variance decision is made, he or she may apply to OSHA for an interim order. Application for an interim order may be made either at the same time as, or after, application for a variance. Reasons why the order should be granted may be included in the interim order application.

If OSHA denies the request, the employer is notified of the reason for denial.

If the interim order is granted, the employer and other concerned parties are informed of the order, and the terms of the order are published in the Federal Register. The employer must inform employees of the order by giving a copy to the authorized employee representative and by posting a copy wherever notices are normally posted.

Experimental Variance

If an employer is participating in an experiment to demonstrate or validate new job safety and health techniques, and that experiment has been approved by either the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary of HHS, a variance may be granted to permit the experiment.


In addition to temporary, permanent and experimental variances, the Secretary of Labor also may find certain variances justified when the national defense is impaired. For further information and assistance in applying for a variance, contact the nearest OSHA office.

Variances are not retroactive. An employer who has been cited for a standards violation may not seek relief from that citation by applying for a variance. However, the fact that a citation is outstanding does not prevent an employer from filing a variance application.

Public Petitions

OSHA continually reviews its standards to keep pace with developing and changing industrial technology. Therefore, employers and employees should be aware that, just as they may petition OSHA for the development of standards, they may also petition OSHA for modification or revocation of standards.

The Act's Coverage

In general, coverage of the Act extends to all employers and their employees in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all other territories under federal government jurisdiction. Coverage is provided either directly by federal OSHA or through an OSHA-approved state program.

As defined by the Act, an employer is any "person engaged in a business affecting commerce who has employees, but does not include the United States or any state or political subdivision of a state."

Therefore, the Act applies to employers and employees in such varied fields as manufacturing, construction, longshoring, agriculture, law and medicine, charity and disaster relief, organized labor and private education. Such coverage includes religious groups to the extent that they employ workers for secular purposes.

The following are not covered under the Act:

  • Self-employed persons;

  • Farms at which only immediate members of the farm employer's family are employed; and

  • Workplaces already protected by other federal agencies under other federal statutes.

But even when another federal agency is authorized to regulate safety and health working conditions in a particular industry, if it does not do so in specific areas, then OSHA standards apply.

As OSHA develops effective safety and health standards of its own, standards issued under the following laws administered by the Department of Labor are superseded: the Walsh-Healey Act, the Service Contract Act, the Construction Safety Act, the Arts and Humanities Act and the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act.

Provisions for Federal Employees

Each federal agency is required under the Act to establish and maintain an effective and comprehensive safety and health program. Such a program has to be consistent with OSHA standards for private employers. The Secretary of Labor provides federal agencies with guidance to assist them in maintaining an effective program for their employees.

As required by the Act and an Executive Order, federal agency heads submit annual reports to the Secretary on the status of their OSHA programs. The Secretary in turn analyzes the reports and statistical data on federal employee injuries and illnesses and prepares a summary report to the President of the overall findings and recommendations.

Individual agencies may, at their option, establish safety and health committees composed of an equal number of management and employee representatives. Committees have access to agency information on hazards in the workplace and monitor agency performance including inspections.

Also, they have the authority to request an OSHA inspection if at least half the committee is dissatisfied with agency response to a safety or health problem. OSHA has general inspection authority for agencies which do not set up committees.

OSHA assumed full enforcement jurisdiction over the U.S. Postal Service in October 1998. In the past, OSHA made inspections and issued notices without penalties. Since assuming enforcement duties, it issues citations and penalties to the Postal Service in the same manner as the private sector industries.

Provisions for State and Local Governments

OSHA provisions do not apply to state and local governments in their role as employers. However, the Act does provide that any state desiring to gain OSHA approval for its private sector occupational safety and health program must provide a program which covers its state and local government workers and which is at least as effective as its program for private employees.

What is OSHA?

Need for Legislation

More than 90 million Americans spend their days on the job. They are our most valuable national resource. Yet, until 1970, no uniform and comprehensive provisions existed for their protection against workplace safety and health hazards.

In 1970, Congress considered annual figures such as these:

  • Job-related accidents accounted for more than 14,000 worker deaths;

  • Nearly 2½ million workers were disabled;

  • Ten times as many person-days were lost from job-related disabilities as from strikes; and

  • Estimated new cases of occupational diseases totaled 300,000.

In terms of lost production and wages, medical expenses and disability compensation, the burden on the nation's commerce was staggering. Human cost was beyond calculation. Therefore, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970 was passed by a bipartisan Congress "to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources."

OSHA's Purpose

Under the Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created within the Department of Labor to:

  • Encourage employers and employees to reduce workplace hazards and to implement new or improve existing safety and health programs;

  • Provide for research in occupational safety and health to develop innovative ways of dealing with occupational safety and health problems;

  • Establish "separate but dependent responsibilities and rights" for employers and employees for the achievement of better safety and health conditions;

  • Maintain a reporting and recordkeeping system to monitor job-related injuries and illnesses;

  • Establish training programs to increase the number and competence of occupational safety and health personnel;

  • Develop mandatory job safety and health standards and enforce them effectively; and

  • Provide for the development, analysis, evaluation and approval of state occupational safety and health programs.

While OSHA continually reviews and redefines specific standards and practices, its basic purposes remain constant. OSHA strives to implement its Congressional mandate fully and firmly with fairness to all concerned.

In all its procedures, from standards development through implementation and enforcement, OSHA guarantees employers and employees the right to be fully informed, to participate actively and to appeal actions.

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