This section consists of Health Compliance Officers who have been trained as industrial hygienists to evaluate workplaces for chemical, physical and biological hazards. They are involved with monitoring and analyzing occupational health conditions in the workplace to detect the extent of exposure and the engineering and other methods (work practices and personal protective equipment) needed to control these hazards.
The health compliance officers are positioned throughout the state in six area offices. They survey private and public sector workplaces to determine compliance with the health standards in 29 CFR 1910 (General Industry), 29 CFR 1926 (Construction) and 29 CFR 1928 (Agriculture) as adopted by Tennessee OSHA. Tennessee OSHA enforces the Z-1-A permissible exposure limits, the TN Safer Needle Law, and the Tennessee Right to Know Law.
Scheduling of inspections is done in the following order of priority:
- Imminent Danger
- Complaint or Referral
- Programmed Inspections
- Follow-up Inspections
Employers are required to report all workplace fatalities or catastrophes (three or more employees hospitalized from one incident) within 8 hours of occurrence. The toll free number is 1-800-249-8510.
In addition, the health compliance section is very active in assisting the Training and Education section in developing and providing training on a variety of occupational health issues. These seminars are held throughout the state. A list of the current seminars which have been scheduled can be obtained by contacting the Training and Education section of Tennessee OSHA.
The Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) Section 50-3-906 requires each administrative department or agency of state government to establish and maintain an effective and comprehensive occupational safety and health program. It also requires that each county, municipal, and other local government provide its employees with conditions of employment consistent with the objectives of the Act, either by developing its own program of voluntary compliance or by electing to be treated as a private employer (T.C.A.§ 50-3-910).
The Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development of the State of Tennessee is charged with the responsibility of administering and enforcing the provisions of the Act in both the private and public sector. The Division of Occupational Safety and Health Public Sector section monitors each state and local government entity registered with the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The Public Sector section is staffed with safety and health compliance officers located throughout the state. Each program is evaluated every two years to assess the program's effectiveness.
Public Employers are required to report within eight hours the death of any employee from a work-related incident or the in-patient hospitalization of three or more employees as a result of a work-related incident. You must report this either orally or in person. You may use the TOSHA toll-free central telephone number 24 hours a day at 1-800-249-8510.
The safety compliance section of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (TOSHA) is responsible for enforcement of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1972 (Title 5, Chapter 3) with emphasis on employee exposures to physical hazards. Physical hazards include but are not limited to construction, machine hazards, walking and working surfaces, flammable and combustible liquids, trenching, motorized equipment, electrical, explosives, fire protection, compressed gases, welding and means of egress.
This section is staffed by occupational safety specialists located in our six (6) area offices. Each area office has supervisory staff responsible for scheduling inspections in their areas. Inspections are scheduled based on reports of employee's who may be exposed to imminent danger, work-related fatalities or catastrophies, complaints or referrals from other agencies, or programmed inspections. Employers are required to report all workplace fatalities or catastrophes (three or more employees hospitalized from one incident) within 8 hours of occurrence. The toll free number is 1-800-249-8510.
Safety Compliance is very active in promoting safety in the workplace. In addition to conducting approximately 1,400 inspections per year, the safety staff participates in various training and outreach programs sponsored by the division.