The Catholic University of America

Summary of District of Columbia Laws


"D.C. Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1988"

D.C. Code Ann. §§ 32-1101 to 32-1124

The Law: The law applies to employment performed in any workplace in the District of Columbia and requires employers to furnish their employees with a place of employment which is free from hazardous conditions which could cause death, serious harm, or injury. The law requires all employers to comply with the rules that pertain to occupational health and safety, including but not limited to record keeping, nondiscrimination, and meeting the requisite standards that have been set for each industry. See D.C. Code Ann. § 32-1103. Many of the standards are adopted from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C. § 651 et seq.

Recordkeeping and Reporting: Employers must make, keep, and preserve records relating to occupational health and safety. These records must be made available to the Mayor for inspection and enforcement of the Act. The employer must have an accurate record of every employee that may be accessed immediately in case of an accident.

The Mayor may require that additional reporting and recordkeeping rules be established which require accuracy, periodic reporting on work-related deaths, injuries, illnesses, or for any minor injuries or exposures to toxic or hazardous physical agents which require monitoring and measuring. Also, the Mayor may make provisions for employers, employees, and other representative organizations to have access to exposure records, periodic summaries, and other occupational health and safety records (but excluding medical records). The Mayor may also require that the information be publicly disseminated. The employer must submit injury reports within 10 days or when he/she gains knowledge of conditions (such as disease or infection) from an injury. See D.C. Code Ann. § 32-1113.

Notice: Employers must promptly notify each employee who has been exposed to toxic materials or harmful physical agents and take appropriate measures to reduce to compliance levels. The Mayor must be notified within 24 hours of fatal accidents or life threatening incidents that required hospitalization. D.C. Code Ann. § 32-1113(e) and (f).

Cross Reference: See the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 US.C. §§ 651, et seq.

DC code update 2/19/08 RAB
updated 6/11/07 (to update code & link to code) by APK
Revised NTC 11-7-07
links updated 6/6/08 rab
Page checked August 4th, 2010, FJL.