OSHA Federal Regulations VS State Plans – Compliance Solutions

OSHA Federal Regulations VS State Plans

OSHA Federal Regulations VS State Plans

Does your state have a State Plan? You may be following the wrong rules and regulations at work! Find out if your state has a State Plan and the difference between Federal Regulations and State Plans today!

Federal Regulations

Federal regulations are what most people are used to and have been using for years. They are regulations that are released by government agencies like The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA), The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and The Department of Transportation (DOT). They are regulations that all states have to follow in The United States, until states started to create their own regulations, commonly referred to as state plans.

What is a State Plan?

Section 18 of The Occupational Safety and Health Act enacted in 1970, states may create their own health and safety plans or state plans that will supersede the federal regulations. This means any state can create its own rules, regulations, and training requirements for health and safety.

The state plan must be at least as effective as the federal OSHA plan. Many states have created stricter standards or address hazards that OSHA doesn’t, which may be why they wanted to make their own state plan in the first place.

States will either make a state plan that is required for every workplace, both in the private sector and local government workers, or they may only require it for local government workers. If OSHA creates a new standard, the state plan has six months to incorporate that standard or a standard that exceeds it. There are currently 28 states that have enacted state plans.

What States have State Plans?

As mentioned above, 28 states have state plans click on the state below to get more information about the state plan that you live in!
These states have state plans for both private-sector employees and local government workers.

The following states also have sate plans but only for local government workers:

If your state doesn’t appear on this list, they currently don’t have a state plan, so you will need to follow federal regulations.

Fines and Penalties

Each state has its own set of rules and procedures for enforcing the standards of the state plan. The state fines and penalties will be different than OSHA’s fines and penalties, but many states have higher fines and harsher penalties for an infraction.


I work in a state that has a State Plan. Do I have to follow the regulations from the State Plan or Federal OSHA regulations? Does one supersede the other one?

  • If you live in a state with a state plan, that plan will always supersede the federal OSHA regulations.

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