Disclaimer: HIOSH makes every effort to ensure that this webpage is accurate and up-to-date; however, for the latest information please contact our office.
Under §396-6 HRS, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace.
§396-6 Employer responsibility: safe place of employment; safety devices and safeguards. (a) Every employer shall furnish to each of the employer’s employees employment and a place of employment which are safe as well as free from recognized hazards. No employer shall require or direct or permit or suffer any employee to go or be in any employment or place of employment which is not free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees or which does not comply with occupational safety and health standards, rules, regulations, citations, or orders made pursuant to this chapter except for the specific purpose of abating said hazard.
(b) Every employer shall furnish and use safety devices and safeguards, and shall adopt and use practices, means, methods, operations, and processes which are reasonably adequate to render such employment and place of employment safe.
(c) No employer shall construct or cause to be constructed any place of employment that is not safe, and no employer shall occupy or maintain any unsafe place of employment.
(d) Every employer shall make such reports as the Secretary of Labor may require pursuant to Public Law 91596 section 8(c).
(e) Each employer shall make, keep and preserve and make available to the department such records regarding the employer’s activities relating to this chapter as the department may prescribe by regulation as necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of this chapter or for developing information regarding the causes and prevention of occupational accidents and illnesses.
The department shall prescribe regulations requiring employers to maintain accurate records of, and to make periodic reports on work related deaths, injuries and illnesses other than minor injuries requiring only first aid treatment and which do not involve medical treatment, loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or transfer to another job.
(f) All employers shall be required to post prominently in the working place all posters and information provided by the department for posting as well as notices informing employees of their rights and obligations under this chapter.
Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health (HIOSH) Coverage
Under §396-4, HRS HIOSH is responsible for administering occupational safety and health standards throughout the State. The agency has jurisdiction in private-sector workplaces in the State, with the exception of:
- Maritime employment, including shipyard employment, marine terminals, and longshoring, but not marine construction work not done on vessels or other floating facilities, which HIOSH covers;
- Contract workers and contractor-operated facilities engaged in United States Postal Service mail operations;
- Contractors and subcontractors at Hawaii National Park and on any other federal establishment where the land is determined to be under exclusive federal jurisdiction;
- Private-sector employers within the secured borders of all military installations where access is controlled;
- Any establishment that has refused entry and the state is unable to obtain a warrant to enforce the right of entry; and
- All working conditions of aircraft cabin crewmembers onboard aircraft in operation.
The Hawaii State Plan also applies to state and local government employers. It does not apply to federal government employers, including the United States Postal Service (USPS). Federal OSHA covers the issues not covered by the Hawaii State Plan, as set forth above.
In addition, Federal OSHA retains enforcement of the anti-retaliation provision of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), Section 11(c), 29 U.S.C. 660(c), with respect to the private sector and the USPS. HIOSH also investigates private sector and state and local government workplace retaliation cases (§396-8(e), HRS) under a provision analogous to Section 11(c).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I comply with HIOSH’s standards and rules?
- Find HIOSH’s standards, OSHA’s standards, and standard interpretations, and see what standards HIOSH and OSHA is citing in your industry
- Maintain injury and illness records if required
- Report all severe injuries and fatalities to HIOSH within the specified timeframes
- Post HIOSH’s Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law Poster in your workplace
- See a list of Key Employer Responsibilities
- Contact the HIOSH Consultation and Training Branch to request a free, confidential on-site evaluation or for questions or concerns.
How do I identify and control safety and health hazards in my business and industry?
- Review Online Resources, including:
- Conduct a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)
- Review OSHA’s Recommend Practices for Safety and Safe + Sound Campaign resources.
- Contact the HIOSH Consultation and Training Branch to request a free, confidential on-site evaluation.
How can I find out what standards are being cited in my industry and what industries and/or hazards HIOSH is targeting for inspection?
- Find OSHA’s standards and standard interpretations, and see what standards OSHA is citing in your industry.
- See the top OSHA’s 10 most frequently cited standards and HIOSH’s most cited standards.
- See some of the industries and hazards that HIOSH is targeting for inspection through National Emphasis Programs
Where can I get information on safety and health training for my workers?
Employers are responsible for providing any HIOSH-required training to employees in a manner that they can understand.
What is the benefit of receiving services from HIOSH Consultation and Training Branch?
Free, confidential consultations will help you identify potential hazards, improve safety and health programs, and perhaps qualify for a one-year exemption from routine inspections in industries regulated by HIOSH. The consultation program primarily serves smaller businesses and will be available to all industries whether regulated by HIOSH or OSHA.
- Closing Conference (PDF) – Employers Rights and Responsibilities (Abbreviated Version)
- Consultation & Training
- Crane Operators
- Emergency Preparedness
- Employer Rights and Responsibilities Under HIOSH (PDF) Handbook
- Hawaii Voluntary Protection Program (HVPP)
- Hazard Identification Training Tool
- HIOSH Handbook for Small Businesses (2023) (PDF)
- HIOSH Poster (PDF)
- HIOSH Public Service Announcements
- Instructions for WC-1 Form (PDF)
- WC-1 Form Template (PDF)
- Job Hazard Analysis (JHA)
- OSHA 300, 300A, 301 Forms (PDF)
- Report an Incident (PDF)
- Safety & Health Kit
- Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP)
- Safety Pays
- Sample Programs
- Self-Inspection Checklists
- Small Business Basics
- Standards (Admin. Rules)
- Workplace Violence