Who is subject to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations?

Authors: John D. Surma and Collin G. Warren, Adams and Reese LLP

Most employers fall under OSHA's administration. OSHA defines an employer as someone who is engaged in a business affecting commerce who has employees. However, OSHA does give some exceptions to who must comply with it. OSHA does not apply to the self employed, a farmer employing only immediate family members, an employer employed in an industry regulated by another federal agency (e.g., DOT, FAA, NRC, etc.) or a public employer. Some states have their own OSHA approved state plan. In that case, the employer would fall under the state OSHA administration, which will be at least as stringent as federal OSHA with who it regulates, but may be more so. This means that if an employer works in a state with a state plan, it could be required to comply even if it meets a federal exception, such as being a public employer.