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Safety and health — Pennsylvania

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) is the primary body of law governing workplace safety and health in Pennsylvania. The federal OSH Act was implemented with the goal of reducing workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths. It grants the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) the authority to establish rules and regulations governing workplace safety and health throughout the country. Section 18 of the OSH Act offers states the option of creating their own occupational safety and health program and agency, in place of federal OSHA, but Pennsylvania has not chosen this route. 

The primary focus of this chapter is the OSH Act. It outlines the OSH Act’s coverage of employers and employees, employer responsibilities, specific standards, inspections, violations, penalties and employer defenses. The chapter ends by discussing other safety and health laws which may apply.


The OSH Act’s broad coverage includes nearly all private-sector employers and their employees. However, certain employers and employees are exempt from coverage.

Employers covered

The OSH Act requires employers to provide a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. Religious employers are...

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