The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act)

To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health; and for other purposes.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. It was created by Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed by President Richard M. Nixon, on December 29, 1970. Its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths by issuing and enforcing rules (called standards) for workplace safety and health.

OSHA Authority

OSHA’s statutory authority extends to most nongovernmental workplaces where there are employees. State and local government workers are excluded from Federal coverage, however, states operating their own state workplace safety and health programs under plans approved by the U.S. Department of Labor cover most private sector workers and are also required to extend their coverage to public sector (state and local government) workers in the state. Section 2 (11) of the OSH Act encourages states to develop and operate their own state OSH programs.

The same act (OSHA) also created the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as a research agency whose purpose is to determine the major types of hazards in the workplace and ways of controlling them. As of March 2006, the agency is headed by Assistant Secretary of Labor Edwin Foulke.

OSHA regulations [29 CFR Part 1956] also permit states without approved plans to develop plans that cover only public sector workers. In these states, private sector employment remains under Federal OSHA jurisdiction. Twenty-two states and territories operate plans covering both the public and private sectors and four states – Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands – operate public employee only plans.

Contact the OSHA

EMERGENCY NOTICE: If you have an EMERGENCY (EX: to report a fatality or imminent life threatening situation) – Please contact OSHA toll free number immediately:
1-800-321-OSHA (6742)… TTY 1-877-889-5627


Contact the OSHA Office nearest you, see map of offices, or, contact OSHA toll free number: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742)…
TTY 1-877-889-5627.

TO OBTAIN A COMPLAINT FORM, locate information regarding your rights and obligations as a worker, locate information about your employer’s rights and obligations, or to file an OSHA-7 report online.


[By Phone]:

1-800-321-OSHA (6742) {Toll Free U.S.}

[Write To: (required for an Official Agency Response*)]

U.S. Department of Labor
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20210

U.S. Department of Labor
OSHA Coordinator for International Affairs
Occupational Safety and Health Administration – Room N3641
200 Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20210

[Email (By Electronic Mail Form*)]:

You may complete an online electronic submission form.

* Responses to the Electronic Mail Forms are for informational purposes only, and do not constitute an official communication of the U.S. Department of Labor or OSHA. For an official response, please send your inquiry in writing to the one of the above.

To submit an information inquiry by Electronic Mail Form.