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Tennessee State Plan

About the Tennessee State Plan [Tennessee State Plan Website]

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (TOSHA) plan was approved on July 5, 1973. Based on the 18(e) Evaluation Report for the period of October 1982 through March 1984, and after opportunity for public comment, the Assistant Secretary determined that in operation the State of Tennessee's occupational safety health program is at least as effective as the Federal program in providing safe and healthful employment and places of employment and meets the criteria for final State plan approval in section 18(e) of the Act and implementing regulations at 29 CFR Part 1902. Accordingly, the Tennessee plan was granted final approval and concurrent Federal enforcement authority was relinquished under section 18(e) of the Act effective July 22, 1985.

TOSHA operates six area offices located strategically around the State of Tennessee. These offices include a central office in Nashville and six field offices located in Knoxville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Jackson and Nashville, TN.

Jurisdiction

The Tennessee plan exercises jurisdiction over all private and public sector employers and employees within the State except private sector maritime activities; railroad employment, not otherwise regulated by another Federal agency; employment at Tennessee Valley Authority facilities; military bases; Federal government employers and employees; and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). See 29 CFR 1952.225.

Regulations and Standards

States must set job safety and health standards that are "at least as effective as" comparable federal standards. (Most States adopt standards identical to federal ones.) States have the option to promulgate standards covering hazards not addressed by federal standards.

Tennessee has a limited number of state-specific standards (or standards that were adopted with requirements different from those of federal OSHA). A list of these standards is provided below with a Web link for additional details.

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Standards for General Industry are the same as the Federal Standards with the following exceptions:

The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development does not adopt the following federal occupational safety and health standards:

  • 29 CFR 1910.1 Purpose and scope
  • 29 CFR 1910.2 Definitions
  • 29 CFR 1910.3 Petitions for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a standard
  • 29 CFR 1910.4 Amendments to this part
  • 29 CFR 1910.15 Shipyard employment
  • 29 CFR 1910.16 Longshoring and marine terminals

Note: In lieu of the current federal occupational safety and health standards codified in 29CFR 1910.1000, the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development adopts the standards limiting exposure to air contaminants as contained in subparagraph (b) of Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Rule 0800-1-1-.07(2). Any reference to 29 CFR 1910.1000 or any part of that standard will be a reference to Rule 0800-1-1-.07(2) (b).

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Standards for Construction are the same as the Federal Standard with the following exceptions:

The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development does not adopt the following federal occupational safety and health standards:

  • 29 CFR 1926.1 Purpose and scope
  • 29 CFR 1926.2 Variances from safety and health standards
  • 29 CFR 1926.3 Inspections - right of entry
  • 29 CFR 1926.4 Rules of practice for administrative adjudications for enforcement of safety and health standards

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development Standards for Agriculture are the same as the Federal Standard.

The Tennessee Right-to-Know Law provides additional requirements that substantially add to the Federal Hazard Communication standards contained in 29 CFR 1910.1200 and 29 CFR 1926.59.

The Tennessee standard for Bloodborne Pathogen also provides additional requirements that are not contained in the Federal Bloodborne Pathogen standard 29 CFR 1910.1030.

Please see TOSHA rules for specific requirements.

Safety and Health Enforcement Programs

The safety compliance section of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (TOSHA) is responsible for enforcement of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1972 (Title 5, Chapter 3) with emphasis on employee exposures to physical hazards. Physical hazards include but are not limited to construction, machine hazards, walking and working surfaces, flammable and combustible liquids, trenching, motorized equipment, electrical, explosives, fire protection, compressed gases, welding and means of egress.

The state's Health Compliance Officers have been trained as industrial hygienists to evaluate workplaces for chemical, physical and biological hazards. They are involved with monitoring and analyzing occupational health conditions in the workplace to detect the extent of exposure and the engineering and other methods (work practices and personal protective equipment) needed to control these hazards.

Employers are required to report all workplace fatalities or catastrophes (three or more employees hospitalized from one incident) within 8 hours of occurrence. The toll free number is 1-800-249-8510.

Voluntary and Cooperative Programs

Consultative Services is a program offered to employers, especially smaller employers, to assist them in achieving a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. Consultative Services offers both occupational safety and industrial hygiene services to manufacturing, construction, and other types of businesses in Tennessee. This no-cost service is designed to assist employers in developing or enhancing safety and health management systems. The industrial hygienist and occupational safety specialist will identify safety and health hazards and help you implement cost-effective hazard control solutions. For more information, visit the Consultative Services web site.

Policies and Procedures

Additional information on Tennessee's Program Directives can be found on the TOSHA web site.

Informal Conferences and Appeals

The Tennessee OSH Review Commission is a quasi-judicial body empowered to hear and rule on appeals regarding citations issued by the State Program. The OSH Review Commission may affirm, modify or revoke a citation, as well as any monetary penalty. The Commission consists of three members appointed by the governor, to serve on the body for three-year terms. Rules of the OSH Review Commission are available on the web site.

Other Resources

Publications and Posters

Tennessee Department of Labor
  • Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • 220 French Landing Drive
  • Nashville, Tennessee 37243
  • (615) 741-2793
  • (615) 741-3325

For detailed contact information visit the TOSHA web site.

Contact Information

Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development
  • 220 French Landing Drive
  • Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1002
  • (615) 741-2793
  • (615) 741-3325
  • Burns Phillips, Commissioner
    • (615) 741-2582
  • Steve Hawkins, TOSHA Administrator
    • (615) 741-2793

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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