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Minnesota State Plan

About the Minnesota State Plan [Minnesota State Plan Website]

The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. The department's Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Division is responsible for compliance program administration, conducting enforcement inspections, adoption of standards, and operation of other related OSHA activities. Workplace Safety Consultation provides consultation services, on request, to help employers prevent workplace accidents and diseases by identifying and correcting safety and health hazards, and operates several employer assistance programs.

Management and administration of Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) is the responsibility of the OSHA Management Team (OMT). The OMT is comprised of the five Minnesota OSHA Supervisors, two Minnesota OSHA area directors, and an administrative director. The mission of Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) is to make sure every worker in the State of Minnesota has a safe and healthful workplace. This mandate involves the application of a set of tools by MNOSHA including standards development, enforcement, compliance assistance, and training and education, which enable employers to maintain safe and healthful workplaces.

The largest industry in Minnesota is health care. Minnesota is also an agricultural state with the related grain handling and processing, dairy, poultry, and meat packing industries. The four largest manufacturing industries include industrial machinery, printing and publishing, food and kindred products, and forest products (paper, lumber, wood, etc.)

Jurisdiction

MNOSHA applies to all public and private sector places of employment in the State, with the exception of Federal employees, the United States Postal Service (USPS), and certain agricultural related operations (field sanitation and temporary labor camps), which are subject to Federal OSHA jurisdiction. See 29 CFR 1952.204.

Public-sector employers in Minnesota (with the exception of federal agencies and exclusive federal jurisdiction properties) are covered and are treated exactly as any other employer. Public-sector employers are subject to the same enforcement protocols as private sector employers including inspection scheduling, inspection procedures, complaint and nondiscrimination procedures, informal conference and contestation procedures, employee access to information provisions, recordkeeping, and voluntary compliance programs.

Regulations and Standards

"Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 182, Occupational Safety and Health" can be accessed from MNOSHA's website.

Minnesota OSHA generally adopts Federal OSHA standards by reference. With the exception of the standards listed below, all federal OSHA standards for General Industry (29 CFR Part 1910) and Construction (29 CFR Part 1926) have been adopted by Minnesota OSHA. Minnesota OSHA has also adopted state-specific standards which address hazards not covered by federal OSHA standards. See Minnesota Rules, Chapters 5205, 5206, 5207, 5210, and 5215.

Major differences between federal and MNOSHA regulations include:

  • Employee Right-to-Know (Minnesota Rules Chapter 5206) is enforced by MNOSHA instead of the federal Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200). Employee Right-to-Know covers harmful physical agents and infectious agents as well as hazardous substances and requires annual refresher training in addition to initial training. The rule covers employees in general industry, construction, maritime operations, and farming operations with more than 10 employees or a temporary labor camp.
  • Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) (29 CFR 1910.1000 - Air Contaminants) (PDF). In 1989, federal OSHA revised its PELs under 1910.1000, which MNOSHA adopted. Although federal OSHA has since reverted to the pre-1989 PELs, MNOSHA still enforces the 1989 PELs for substances that are not covered by separate standards. (These are available on the MNOSHA website.)
  • Confined spaces (29 CFR 1910.146 and Minnesota Rules 5207.0300-0304). For general industry, Minnesota OSHA has adopted the federal Permit-Required Confined Spaces standard, 29 CFR 1910.146. For the construction industry, Minnesota OSHA enforces Minnesota Rules 5207.0300-0304.
  • Lockout Devices in Construction (Minnesota Rules 5207.0600). MNOSHA has adopted its own lockout/tagout standard for the construction industry. This standard is in addition to 29 CFR 1926.417, Lockout and Tagging of Circuits, and the portions of 29 CFR 1926 Subpart O, Motor Vehicles, Mechanized Equipment and Marine Operations, which address the control of potential energy. Employers in general industry must comply with 29 CFR 1910.147, Control of Hazardous Energy.
  • Additional MNOSHA requirements. Minnesota OSHA has also adopted standards covering topics not addressed in federal OSHA standards. See All MNOSHA standards and rules.
Enforcement Programs

MNOSHA's current primary inspection emphasis industries include:

  • lead and silica;
  • wood product manufacturing;
  • furniture and related products manufacturing;
  • paper manufacturing;
  • plastics and rubber product manufacturing;
  • food manufacturing, and beverage and tobacco product manufacturing;
  • machinery manufacturing;
  • construction;
  • printing and related support activities, and publishing industries;
  • the public sector;
  • foundries;
  • meatpacking; and
  • nursing care facilities.

One strategy used by Minnesota OSHA to address hazards in the public sector is the development of a Special Emphasis inspection program. For example, when the Fire Brigade Standard was adopted in 1980, Minnesota OSHA established a Special Emphasis inspection program for fire departments. All fire departments in the state were listed and each year fire departments were randomly selected for a comprehensive inspection. There are approximately 800 fire departments in Minnesota, both paid and volunteer; all fire departments were inspected under this program over the course of several years.

Voluntary and Cooperative Programs

MNSTAR is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) program that recognizes companies where managers and employees work together to develop safety and health management systems that go beyond basic compliance with all applicable OSHA standards and result in immediate and long-term prevention of job-related injuries and illnesses. Key elements of this comprehensive program include: management leadership and employee involvement; an allocation of resources to address safety issues; systems that identify and control workplace hazards; and a plan for employee safety training and education.

Workplace Safety Consultation, the MNOSHA consultation program, offers consultations on request to small private-sector employers and some public-sector employers to help them prevent workplace accidents and diseases.

In addition to the traditional enforcement and consultation activities, MNOSHA operates several specialized programs aimed at assisting employers in making their workplaces safer and more healthful including the Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MNSHARP), a voluntary, consultation-based program which assists small high-hazard employers in achieving safety and health improvements and recognizes them for doing so. MNOSHA also operates a Labor-Management Safety Committee Program, a Loggers' Safety Education Program, a Workplace Violence Prevention Program, and a Safety Grants Program. See Workplace Safety Consultation for more information about MNSHARP and the other programs.

Policies and Procedures

MNOSHA's catalog of policies and directives are available on CD by request. Contact MNOSHA.

Informal Conferences and Appeals

If an employer files a Notice of Contest within 20 calendar-days after receiving the citation, according to the instructions contained on the form and on the citation, an informal conference is arranged with the employer to discuss the issues of the case and determine if an out-of-court settlement can be negotiated. If an agreement is reached, a written settlement agreement will be prepared for both parties to sign. If not, the case will be scheduled for hearing before an administrative law judge. The employer and the employees have the right to participate in the hearing; the law does not require they be represented by attorneys. After the administrative law judge has ruled, any party to the case may request a further review by the appropriate District Court. Enabling legislation for the Minnesota OSHA program is codified in Minnesota Statutes Chapter 182. For information about the Occupational Safety and Health Review Board please visit MNOSHA's website.

Other Resources

Training and outreach programs on standards and other OSHA-related topics of general interest are made available to public as well as private sector employers and employees. Programs have been, and when requested will be, conducted for specific types of workplaces, such as fire departments, schools, correctional facilities, etc.

Although not specifically geared toward public sector employers and employees, the Loggers' Safety Education Program, one of the programs under Workplace Safety Consultation, has provided safety training to numerous public sector employers and employees, primarily from public works departments. The "logging work" done by these workers is not a daily activity but is usually related to cleanup following storms or other uncommon events and involves trees that are damaged and hazardous to work on. The training sessions cover the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.266, including personal protective equipment, chainsaw safety and maintenance, and proper tree felling techniques.

The Minnesota Department of Health website includes health information in many categories, including asbestos in schools.

The Department of Public Safety, Division of Emergency Management, provides information for emergencies including county and statewide response plans.

The University of Minnesota Extension Service provides information on a broad range of topics including solid waste, pesticide safety, and indoor environmental issues such as air quality and air systems.

Contact Information

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA)
  • 443 Lafayette Road North
  • St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-4307
  • (651) 284-5050 | (877) 470-6742
  • (651) 284-5741

  • Ken Peterson, Commissioner
  • (651) 284-5010
  • (651) 284-5721
  • Cindy Valentine, Workplace Safety Manager
  • (651) 284-5602
  • (651) 284-5724
  • James Krueger, Compliance Director MNOSHA Compliance
  • (651) 284-5462
  • (651) 284-5741

Disclaimer

OSHA makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate and up to date, but changes in state law and procedures affecting the information on this page are beyond OSHA's control. Contact state program staff directly to verify important information.

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