What is Health and Safety Law?

Health and Safety Law

What is Health and Safety Law?Health and safety laws exist to protect the health, welfare, and safety of the public in general. Certain sections of the population such as employees are protected under health and safety laws.

In general, a civil law system exists that will cover most medical and safety laws.

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was put in place to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women.”

The OSH Act is the basis of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the federal level and provided that states operate their own safety and health programs as long as those programs were at least as effective as the federal level programs.

OSHA primarily handles the enforcement and administration of the OSH Act in states under federal jurisdiction. In states under federal jurisdiction, the safety and health standards pertaining to field sanitation are enforced by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

The responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the laws instated to protect the safety and health of workers in the US lies with three Department of Labor (DOL) agencies.

Attorneys at SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) law firm provides professional legal advice and services to clients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and surrounding locations.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

  • OSHA implements the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.
  • In most private industries, safety and health conditions are governed by OSHA or OSHA-approved state plans.
  • Almost every employee in the country comes under the jurisdiction of OSHA. Some exceptions are transportation workers, miners, the self-employed, and many public employees.
  • Employers who are subject to the OSH Act also have a general duty to provide their employees with work and a workplace that is free of serious, recognized hazards.
  • Additionally, OSHA administers the Whistleblower Protection program that ensures that an employer cannot retaliate by taking “adverse action” against employees who report safety concerns, injuries, or other protected activities.

Mine Safety and Health Administration

  • DOL’s MSHA holds the responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. This Act protects the safety and health of workers engaged in the country’s mines.
  • The Act is applicable to all mineral processing and mining operations in the US, irrespective of size, method of extraction, or number of employees.

The Fair Labor Standards Act

  • FLSA comprises rulers pertaining to the employment of young workers (below the age of 18 years) and is enforced and administered by DOL’s Wage and Hour Division. This Act intends to protect the health and safety of youth in the US. The FLSA contains minimum age requirements for employment, limitations on the times of the day young employees may work, and the jobs that they may undertake.

Other Resources

  • Office of Worker’s Compensation Programs: This agency administers four significant disability compensation programs which offer medical treatment, wage replacement benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits to some workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupation-related health conditions.
  • Office of the Ombudsman for the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program (EEOMBD) and the SHARE initiative also play a part in the administration of DOL workplace and health programs.

Lawyers at the SBEMP law firm serve clients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Inland Empire, Orange County, Coachella Valley, Costa Mesa, San Diego, New Jersey, New York, and nearby locations for a range of legal practice areas.


For more information or to request a consultation please contact the law offices of SBEMP (Slovak, Baron, Empey, Murphy & Pinkney) by clicking here. 

SBEMP LLP is a full service law firm with attorney offices in Palm Springs (Palm Desert, Inland Empire, Rancho Mirage), CA; Costa Mesa (Orange County), CA; San Diego, CA; New Jersey, NJ; and New York, NY.

DISCLAIMER: This blog post does not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by reading it. This blog post may be considered ATTORNEY ADVERTISING in some states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Additional facts or future developments may affect subjects contained within this blog post. Before acting or relying upon any information within this newsletter, seek the advice of an attorney.

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