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OSHA Law & Regulations

Welcome to OSHA's Law and Regulations page. This page contains links to all current OSHA standards, provides information on the rulemaking process used to develop workplace health and safety standards, and includes links to all Federal Register notices that are currently open for comment. This page also provides links to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) and other relevant laws. Finally, this page includes resources to explore the Federal Register, the Code of Federal Regulations, and RegInfo.gov the federal government's public portal for all agency regulatory information.

Under the OSH Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. OSHA's mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Employers must comply with all applicable OSHA standards. Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires employers to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards.

Find an OSHA standard:

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What is...

  • The Federal Register

    The official daily publication for Federal notices, rules and proposed rules, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents.

  • Visit the Federal Register web site, or browse OSHA Federal Register publications by:

  • The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

    • The codification of final rules published by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. Each volume is updated once each calendar year.
    • View all OSHA standards in Title 29 of the CFR, the Department of Labor's section of the Code of Federal Regulations.
    • Subparagraphs numbers that are highlighted in blue and underlined in the text of the standard, (e.g., 1910.27(b)(1)) provide link to related information on the site, e.g., Interpretations, Federal Register, Directives.
    • PDF and XML versions of the latest version of the standards published in 29 CFR 1910 - 1910.999 and 1910.1000 to End are available online from GPO.

Contact Us

  • National Office
    • U.S. Department of Labor - OSHA
      200 Constitution Ave., NW
      Washington, DC 20210
      1-800-321-OSHA (6742)
  • Standards Promulgating Directorates
    OSHA's Directorate of Standards and Guidance (DSG) and Directorate of Construction (DOC) share responsibility for developing most of the Agency's standards for general industry, maritime, and construction. Some other OSHA directorates develop rules affecting whistleblower protection and other programs.
    • Directorate of Standards & Guidance
      202-693-1950
    • Directorate of Construction
      202-693-2020

Acts & Legislation Relevant to OSHA Rulemaking

Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970

(Public Law 91-596, December 29, 1970 with amendments through January 1, 2004)

To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health; and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.”

Other Acts Executive Orders

The OSHA Rulemaking Process

Before OSHA can issue a standard, it must go through an extensive and lengthy process that includes substantial public engagement, notice and comment periods. This is known as OSHA's "rulemaking process."

Click on the image to browse the rulemaking process through an easy-to follow flowchart*. Each stage contains an approximate timeline of the process, and details of the requirements OSHA has to follow before each stage can be completed. The icons on the flowchart help guide the viewer through the type of requirement - legal, internal or executive order - that dictates OSHA's actions in each stage of the process.

OSHA can begin standards-setting procedures on its own initiative or in response to petitions from other parties, including:

  • The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS);
  • The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH);
  • State and local governments;
  • Nationally recognized standards-producing organizations and employer or labor representatives; and
  • Any other interested parties

Each spring and fall, the Department of Labor publishes in the Federal Register a list of all standards and regulations that have work underway. This regulatory agenda provides a schedule for the development of standards and regulations so that employers, employees, and other interested parties can follow their progress and participate in the rulemaking process during comment periods, public hearings, and other meetings.

Download a flowchart detailing OSHA's rulemaking process [PDF]


Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Directorate of Standards and Guidance at (202) 693-1950 for assistance accessing DOC, EPS, GIF, MP4, PDF, PPT or XLS documents.

*These files are provided for downloading.

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