VOSH Programs

Virginia Unique Standards

Standards enacted by the Safety and Health Codes Board for enforcement by the Department of Labor and Industry. These are unique to Virginia and can be accessed by clicking the links below. They are unique in the sense that federal OSHA either does not have a comparable standard or, if it does, it differs substantively and has been superseded by the unique Virginia standard.

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.

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.

The vast majority of the Virginia occupational safety and health standards are identical to federal OSHA standards.  For example, 16 VAC 25-175 will be referred to simply as § 1926.650, or “Virginia Excavation Standard, Construction Industry.”  The “VAC” number for each unique regulation is also listed, and, this “VAC” number is what will appear on any violation citation issued by VOSH.

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.