Three Department of Labor (DOL) agencies have responsibility for
the administration and enforcement of the laws enacted to protect the safety
and health of workers in America.
The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act is administered by
DOL's Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA). Safety and health conditions in most private
industries are regulated by OSHA or OSHA-approved state systems. Nearly every
employee in the nation comes under OSHA's jurisdiction with some exceptions
such as miners, some transportation workers, many public employees, and the
self-employed. In addition to the requirements to comply with the regulations
and safety and health standards contained in the OSH Act, employers subject to
the Act have a general duty to provide work and a workplace free from
recognized, serious hazards.
DOL's Mine Safety and Health
Administration (MSHA) has responsibility for administration and enforcement
of the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, which protects the safety and health
of workers employed in the nation's mines. The Act applies to all mining and
mineral processing operations in the United States, regardless of size, number
of employees, or method of extraction.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains rules concerning the
employment of young workers, those under the age of 18, and is administered and
enforced by DOL's Employment Standards Administration's
Wage and Hour Division. Intended to protect the health and well-being of
youth in America, the FLSA contains minimum age restrictions for employment,
restrictions on the times of day youth may work, and the jobs they may perform.
DOL also has a public outreach initiative called
Working Partners for an Alcohol- and Drug-Free
Workplace that assists employers to develop drug-free workplace programs.
Although not required under any DOL laws or regulations, such programs are
natural compliments to other initiatives that help ensure safe and healthy
workplaces and add value to America's businesses and communities.
The Office of Workers' Compensation
Programs administers four major disability compensation programs which
provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation
and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience
work-related injury or occupational disease.
The Office of the Ombudsman for the
Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOMBD) and the
SHARE initiative also play a role in
the administration of DOL workplace safety and health programs.
For help in determining which safety and health standards apply to
particular employment situations, select from the subtopics lists. Also, see
the Office of Compliance Assistance Policy's Web pages on
safety and health in the