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Safety and health — Texas

Protecting the safety and health of workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) became effective April 28,1971. The stated purpose of the Act is to provide “every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions.” The Act places the primary burden of achieving this goal on employers by requiring each employer to:

  • provide a workplace free from safety and health hazards
  • comply with standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The act extends to employment in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and several other U.S. possessions. However, federal and state public employment is excluded from coverage.

The act allows the states to assume responsibility for occupational safety and health by adopting their own state plans. Any state plan must be “at least as effective” as the federal plan before it can be approved by the Secretary of Labor. Twenty-three states and two territories operate their own state OSHA plans and some of these plans cover state and local government employment. Although Texas does not...

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