The Occupational Safety and Health Act is the main federal law requiring employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace. The law’s “general duty clause” requires you to maintain a workplace free of hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm.
The law, which is enforced by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), also protects employees who blow the whistle about hazardous conditions in their workplaces.
State law: All Pennsylvania employers are covered under federal OSHA rules.
Currently, 21 states also establish their own job safety and health standards for all employers in those states. Three states provide standards only for public employers. By federal law, those state standards must be “at least as effective” as OSHA’s federal rules. Like Pennsylvania, most states adopt standards identical to federal ones. (For state-law details, see www.osha.gov/dcsp/osp.)
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