The State Plan agreement between the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor and Virginia gives the Commonwealth authority to regulate occupational safety and health within its jurisdiction for General Industry, Construction, Agriculture, and the Public Sector.
Federal OSHA retains authority over the following Virginia industries: private-sector maritime (shipyard, marine terminals, longshoring, gear certification), federal military facilities, as well as other federal enclaves where civil jurisdiction has been ceded by the State to the federal government. Federal OSHA jurisdiction is also retained with respect to federal government employers and employees; and over working conditions where a federal agency has exercised statutory authority to enforce safety and health standards.
The Safety and Health Codes Board has adopted occupational safety and health standards for enforcement by the Department of Labor and Industry. Virginia Code Section 40.1-1 provides that the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry be responsible for administering and enforcing occupational safety and health activities within the Commonwealth. Within the Department, regulation of Virginia occupational safety and health falls under the purview of the VOSH (Virginia Occupational Safety and Health) Program.
Federal Identical OSHA Standards
Most occupational safety and health regulations in the Commonwealth of Virginia are identical to Federal OSHA regulations. The federal identical Virginia regulations mirror the following Parts of the Code of Federal Regulation.
1904 Recordkeeping Violations – Regulations regarding the Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses that are applicable in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
1910 General Industry Standards – Section 6(a) of the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Standards which are either (1) national concensus standards on whose adoption affected persons have reached substantial agreement, or (2) Federal standards already established by Federal statutes or regulations.
1915, 1917 and 1918 – Maritime Standards – [NOTE: VOSH Maritime Standards only apply to public sector employers and employees in Virginia. Private sector maritime employers and employees are covered by federal OSHA jurisdiction.]
1926 Construction Industry Standards – This part sets forth the safety and health standards promulgated by the Secretary of Labor under section 107 of the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act.
1928 Agriculture Industry Standards – This part contains occupational safety and health standards applicable to agricultural operations.
Virginia Unique Standards – Some regulations are unique to the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Virginia Unique Standards are enacted by the Safety and Health Codes Board for enforcement by the Department of Labor and Industry. These are as follows:
- 16VAC25-73, Tree Trimming Operations This regulation contains arboriculture safety requirements for tree trimming operations.
- 16 VAC 25-97, Reverse Signal Operation This regulation contains safety requirements for vehicles, machinery and equipment for general industry and the construction Industry.
- 16 VAC 25-70, Confined Space Standard Telecommunications Industry This regulation contains the requirements for entry into confined spaces.
- Overhead High Voltage Line Safety Act
- 16 VAC 25-145, Fall Protection for Subpart R – Steel Erection This regulation contains fall protection standards.
- 16 VAC 25-180, Field Sanitation, Agriculture This regulation contains field sanitation requirements in agriculture settings.
- 16 VAC 25-160, Construction Industry Standard for Sanitation, This regulation contains sanitation requirements in the construction industry.
- 16 VAC 25 -60, Administrative Regulation for the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health Program, This regulation contains VOSH specific rules and requirements.
- 16 VAC 25-75, General Industry Standard for Telecommunications, General, Approach Distances, This regulation contains distance requirements for employees in the telecommunication industry.
- 16VAC 25-200, Voluntary Protection Program This regulation contains VPP specific requirements.
You can also view the above VOSH Unique Regulations on the Regulatory Town Hall website.
Click here for general regulatory information for the Department of Labor and Industry.
If you have additional questions concerning the unique standards, please contact the Policy and Planning Manager at (804) 786-4300.