Occupational Safety and Health for
Thousands of federal employees are injured, become ill, or are killed in work-related
incidents each year. During FY 2004, approximately 165,000 occupational injuries
and illnesses involved civilian federal employees. In addition to the human dimension
of this issue, workers' compensation billings for all federal employees in 2004 totaled
more than $2.3 billion.
How Agencies Protect Federal Employees
Federal agencies must take the following
steps to protect their workers:
- Provide workplaces free from recognized
health and safety hazards.
- Establish procedures for responding to
workplace emergencies and reporting
unsafe and unhealthful working conditions.
- Acquire, maintain, and require the use of
approved personal protective equipment.
- Inspect all workplaces annually with
employee representatives present.
- Establish procedures to assure that
employees are not subject to restraint,
interference, coercion, discrimination, or
reprisal for exercising their rights under an
agency’s safety and health program.
- Post notices of unsafe or unhealthful working
conditions found during inspections.
- Abate hazardous conditions promptly, and
notify employees exposed to such conditions.
- Correct conditions immediately that involve
- Keep records of accidents, injuries, illnesses
and their causes, and post annual summaries
for the required period of time. (See
29 CFR Part 1960.66-74.)
- Conduct occupational health and safety
training for top management, supervisors,
safety and health personnel, employees,
and employee representatives.
- Comply with all OSHA occupational safety
and health standards and rules.
- Develop and implement a site-specific safety and health program consistent with
- Display conspicuously a poster informing
employees of the provisions of the OSH
Act, Executive Order 12196, and the agency
safety and health program under 29 CFR
- Designate an official with sufficient authority
to manage the agency occupational safety
and health program.
Workers Must Protect Themselves
Federal employees must comply with agency
policies, procedures, and directives concerning
health and safety; use personal protective
equipment and other safety equipment provided
by the agency; and observe all agency
safety and health rules, procedures, and standards.
Rights of Federal Workers
Federal employees are entitled to do the following:
- Participate in their agency's health and
safety program and related activities on
- Access their agency's safety and health
information, including data on hazardous
substances in the workplace;
- Comment on proposed agency standards
that differ from OSHA standards;
- Obtain copies of medical and exposure
- Report and request inspections of unsafe or
unhealthful working conditions to federal
officials, including the Secretary of Labor.
For more information on occupational safety
and health for federal employees, including
the full text of OSHA's standards, visit OSHA’s
website at www.osha.gov. Information that is
specific to occupational safety and health for
federal employees is at http://www.osha.gov/
To report an emergency, file a complaint or
seek OSHA advice, assistance or products,
call (800) 321-OSHA or contact your nearest
OSHA regional or area office.
This is one in a series of informational fact sheets highlighting OSHA programs, policies or standards. It does not impose any new compliance requirements. For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements of OSHA standards or regulations, refer to Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations. This information will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. The voice phone is (202) 693-1999; teletypewriter (TTY) number: (877) 889-5627.
For more complete information:
Safety and Health
U.S. Department of Labor