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The State of New Hampshire was one of the first states in the union to recognize the need to enact legislation to protect the safety and health of its workers.

The Safety & Training Division of the Department of Labor is responsible for administering and enforcing the following laws:

Safety Program Compliance Assistance

Safety Programs & Joint Loss Management Committees (1994)

RSA 281-A:64

This legislation was created by a study committee appointed by the Governor to address excesses in the Workers' Compensation system in New Hampshire. The reform initiatives included the creation of a Joint Loss Management Committee for employers with 5 or more employees, and the establishment of a Written Safety Program for employers with 10 or more employees. Effective January 1, 2013, employers with 15 or more employees are required to have a Joint Loss Management Committee and a Written Safety Program.

Approximately eight months after the adoption of the law, a committee, made up of both private and public sector safety professionals, established the New Hampshire Administrative Rules Chapter LAB 600 Safety Programs and Joint Loss Management Committee which would be enforced in accordance with guidelines established by RSA 281-A:64 Employers were given until January 1,1995 to comply with the law and rules. Once enacted, and through 1995, the department's safety staff performed several hundred training seminars to inform employers of the law and to educate them on their responsibilities. The department currently continues to present many safety training seminars throughout the state, not only to assist employers in complying with these regulations, but to also help them in providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees.

Effective January 1, 2013, all employers in New Hampshire with 15 or more employees are required to file a Safety Summary Form. This form is a summary of information taken from the written safety program and should not be filed unless a written program is in place. Previously, employers with 10 or more employees were required to file a Safety Summary Form every two years. With the changes effective January 1, 2013, employers who have a current (2011 or thereafter) Safety Summary Form on file with the department will not need to file again.

Administrative Rules for Safety & Health (1998)

New Hampshire Administrative Rule Chapter Lab 1400 Safety and Health of Employees

These specific safety and health regulations were adopted for use in two areas:

  1. To establish safety and health regulations for the protection of employees in the public sector whom were not covered under the jurisdiction of OSHA.
  2. To be used in conjunction with determining the validity and effectiveness of the employers safety programs. These are baseline standards for compliance with state regulations and should not be confused with OSHA regulations.

Safety & Health of Employees (1917)

RSA 277 Safety & Health of Employees

This law established the basic code of safety & health regulations for all employers with one or more employees who were regularly employed.

The law covered such areas as:

  • Building Construction and Repair Work
  • Maintenance of First Aid Equipment, Appliances, etc.
  • Inspections and Orders by Commissioner
  • Reviews, Appeals, etc.
  • Inspectors and Other Assistants
  • Prosecutions, Penalties, etc.

This law was revised several times since it's adoption and was enforced by the department until Congress created the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) under the US Department of Labor in 1970, and subsequently established safety & health regulations for all employers in the private sector. It was at this point RSA 277 became enforceable only in the public sector, covering such employers as cities, towns counties and the state.

Toxic Substances in the Workplace (1983)

RSA 277-A Toxic Substances in the Workplace

The ever-increasing amounts of hazardous chemicals and materials being used in industry brought about the passage of this law. The intent of the law was to provide knowledge, training and procedures for the safe use, handling and storage of these materials. The law also required users of such materials to inform the cities and towns where they were located, and the nature and quantity of the materials they used and stored. This law was also preempted in the private sector in 1987 when OSHA created the Hazard Communication Standard as a part of their regulations.

Safety & Training
NH Department of Labor
95 Pleasant Street
Concord, NH 03302
Telephone: (603) 271-6850 or (603) 271-6297

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New Hampshire Department of Labor  |  
95 Pleasant Street  |  Concord, NH 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3176  |  
Hours of Operation: 8am - 4:30pm M-F