OSHA Laws & Standards
Laws, OSHA Standards, and Political Action
AFSCME members are protected by a variety of safety and health laws, most of which follow standards issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
In 23 states, AFSCME members are covered by federally approved OSHA laws that cover public employees. Several of the 27 states that do not have federally approved OSHA laws have state laws. Most of these are not fully staffed, or do not have the same enforcement authority that the federally approved laws have. AFSCME members in states that do not have any OSHA protections sometimes have contract language requiring the employer to comply with federal OSHA standards.
Whether AFSCME members are covered by a federally approved OSHA law, a state law, or contract language, what happens in Washington D.C. affects AFSCME members
AFSCME health and safety staff works closely with the Legislative and Political Action Departments to make sure that members’ rights are not rolled back, and to expand health and safety protections where necessary.
A major part of OSHA’s job is to issue standards that specify what measures employers must take to protect workers against specific hazards. AFSCME health and safety staff works closely with federal OSHA to assure issue the safeguards that we need to protect workers, and to make sure that they and the state OSHA programs enforce the laws. AFSCME was instrumental in urging OSHA to issue workplace standards on bloodborne pathogens, ergonomics, and other health and safety problems.
Current OSHA Standards are available online.
AFSCME provides e-mail updates on the status of political attacks on OSHA and on our right to work in a safe workplace and clean environment. With the help of AFSCME members nationwide who called, wrote and met with their Congressional representatives, we have been able to defeat most of these attempts to repeal our safety standards. The attacks will continue and only your activism can beat them back. Anyone who is interested in joining the fight should sign up to become an AFSCME E-Activist and receive the e-mail updates.