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General Safety

The General Safety Law, No.174, P.L.654, provides for the safety and protects the health and morals of persons while employed by prescribing regulations and restrictions concerning places where persons are employed and the equipment, apparatus, materials, devices and machinery used therein.

The regulations promulgated under the General Safety Law cover a wide variety of employee safety issues for all places where persons are employed or permitted to work for compensation of any kind, except farms or private dwellings, including those owned or under the control of the Commonwealth and any political subdivision thereof, including school districts.

The General Safety Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder are preempted by the Federal OSHA regulations for private sector employees, and therefore, only apply to public sector employees.

Regulation Overview

The regulations promulgated under the General Safety Law require all establishments where persons work to be constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted so as to provide reasonable and adequate protection for the life, limb, safety and morals of all persons employed therein.

All belts, pulleys, gears, chains, electrical equipment and other apparatus must be properly guarded to protect workers from injury. All dust, fumes, vapors and gases created by a manufacturing process which are harmful to persons employed must be removed at the point of origin or personal protective devices must be provided. All pits, quarries, trenches and excavations must be properly shored, braced or otherwise guarded to provide reasonable and adequate protection for workers. Scaffolds, ladders, window cleaning devices and safety belts must be designed, manufactured and erected for safe operation. All railroad operations not subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission must be maintained in a manner to prevent unreasonable or unnecessary hazards to workers or the public.

The regulations promulgated under the General Safety Law are found in Title 34 of the Pennsylvania Code, Sections 6.1 through 47.398.