Are Municipalities (and related entities) Covered by OSHA?
This question was posed by one of the LWMMI insured utility districts and the timing was perfect as the August 2009 issue of “The Municipality”, a publication of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities confirmed the response we provided. Here’s the response (slightly paraphrased) from “The Municipality”: Local governments are not subject to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. But local governments are subject to state regulations which are at least as stringent as OSHA regulations. Although OSHA governs the private sector and federal agencies in Wisconsin, OSHA does not have jurisdiction over the state or local governments because the definition of “employer” under the OSHA Act of 1970 specifically excludes states and any political subdivision of a state. Instead, the State of Wisconsin has jurisdiction and sec. 101.055 of the Wisconsin Statutes requires that the Department of Commerce adopt, by administrative rule, standards to protect the safety and health of public employees. These standards must provide protection at least equal to that provided to private sector employees under OSHA standards.