Any New York workplace can be filled with dangers. In some cases, the danger comes from exposure to toxic chemicals. In others, the danger comes from heavy machinery, heights or electricity. Whatever the specific danger is, most New York workers are protected by a variety of safety precautions taken by the employer to help keep them safe. Not only are most employers interested in protecting their employees, most are obligated to follow federal safety regulations. These regulations protect employees and help to prevent workplace accidents.

These safety regulations are adopted and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This federal agency oversees and enforces many industries in the United States. However, New Yorkers may wonder if OSHA specifically protects them.

According to OSHA, both public and private employers are subject to OSHA regulations. This includes federal employees. OSHA will not fine federal employers, but it does oversee agencies, including the United States Postal Service. OSHA also responds to complaints by federal employees.

Additionally, private employees throughout the United States are protected by OSHA regulations. These regulations may be enforced directly by OSHA or via the state. If the state has taken control, then it must have an OSHA approved state program. These state programs must have regulations that are as effective as the federal program.

New York state employees are not protected directly by OSHA. Instead, they have the protection of a New York state run public employees’ agency. OSHA also does not cover the self-employee and certain family-member employees.

An attorney can help further clarify the protections of OSHA regulations and New York state agencies.