Many people recognize the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as the overarching federal agency that ensures minimum work safety standards are maintained. It has a multitude of tools to enforce its mandate and to protect worker safety. However, the states also have their own local safety and health agencies tailored to each state’s specific needs.
Pennsylvania manages labor relations through six different entities. The Bureau of Labor Law Compliance develops and implements regulations to ensure compliance with state labor laws. They promulgate rules on a variety of topics including prevailing wage rates. It also conducts safety inspections and initiates prosecutions for severe violations.
The Bureau of Occupational and Industrial Safety administers and implements the laws related to the safety of employees and the public. This agency is specifically tasked with ensuring worker safety and protections through the issuance of licenses, conducting inspections and responding to complaints. These two agencies are the primary regulators for labor safety and rights.
There are also three other agencies devoted to other aspects of labor relations including administering collective bargaining rules, mediating labor-management disputes and improving the economic development of Pennsylvania.
Finally, the Industrial Board is the apex agency that conducts hearings, renders decisions and hears appeals to departmental regulations concerning workplace safety. The Industrial Board is the final agency of appeal and rulemaking for labor law throughout Pennsylvania. Sometimes knowing your legal rights after an accident is not enough. Sometimes confronting the regulators before a bad rule is approved is best for ensuring the safety of all Pennsylvania workers.
Speaking with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney may give you the opportunity to fully explore all of your legal options. OSHA is not the only regulatory agency for which you can see recourse against your employer. Pennsylvania has several regulatory boards and agencies that regulate various aspects of labor law and relations. You have legal rights; you should have the knowledge to exercise them.