The Kentucky State Plan for Occupational Safety and Health has been in effect for more than 32 years. It applies to all private-sector workplaces in the state, with a few exceptions. These exceptions include:

  • Maritime jobs, such as shipyard employment, longshoring and marine terminals
  • Employment at military bases, Tennessee Valley Authority facilities and other properties ceded to the federal government
  • Contract workers and facilities involved with U.S. Postal Service operations
  • Working conditions of aircraft cabin crewmembers aboard operational aircraft
  • Hazards, industries, operations, facilities and geographical areas over which the state cannot exercise jurisdiction for reasons unrelated to the structure or performance of the state plan

The state plan also applies to all local and state government employers, but not to federal government employers. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) covers any issues not pertaining to the Kentucky State Plan.

Overseeing the plan is a Standards Board made up of 13 members who have the power to adopt, repeal or otherwise modify occupational safety and health standards in Kentucky. The Secretary of the Labor Cabinet heads the board, with the additional 12 members appointed by the governor to represent fields like agriculture, management, labor, and the safety and health profession.


Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Compliance is responsible for enforcing all safety and health standards in accordance with the state plan and state law. Compliance officers routinely inspect workplaces for potential hazards and cite workplaces when they find standards violations. Inspections may be triggered by imminent danger reports or fatalities, or they can simply be regularly scheduled.

Voluntary and cooperative programs are also in place to help reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities in workplaces throughout the state.

For further information on health and safety standards in Kentucky, including those related to the construction industry, contact an experienced construction law attorney at Hemmer DeFrank Wessels, PLLC.