Massachusetts Workplace Safety and Health Program

The mission of the Massachusetts Workplace Safety and Health Program (WSHP) is to prevent job-related injuries and illnesses among the Commonwealth's public sector workers and assist federal agencies in promoting health and safety in selected areas in the private sector. 

Our vision is a Commonwealth where preventable workplace injuries and illnesses are eliminated. To accomplish this, we perform inspections to promote effective health and safety management in the Commonwealth's public sector . To bring long-term change to fruition, we educate and support workers, employers, advocates and decision-makers in health and safety standards which protect workers from preventable harm, and in the methods necessary to ensure that these standards are followed in the workplace.

Inspections are conducted based on the following (in order of priority):

  • Imminent danger conditions
  • Accident and fatality investigations
  • High-hazard activities as evidenced by worker's compensation rates
  • Complaints and referrals (may not result in site inspection)
  • Follow-up inspections
  • Random programmed inspections

Inspection Summary

When a Written Warning is issued it will contain an order to correct the hazardous condition by a correction due date.  Extensions may be granted if the employer can show diligent progress towards the correction and interim measures have been put in place to protect the employees.  A Civil Penalty will only be assessed if the employer fails to meet the corrective due date, or extended due date if one has been granted.

DLS may issue a Civil Citation with Civil Penalty in circumstances when the employer repeatedly allowed an unsafe condition to occur, or if the condition has already caused a serious work-related injury, or if the employer has ignored a previous Written Warning.  DLS may issue civil penalties of up to $1,000 for violation of each standard, in accordance with M.G.L. c. 149 and regulations.

List of Services (provided free of charge to any public agency in Massachusetts)

  • Accident Investigation
  • High hazard investigation
  • Complaint follow-up
  • Voluntary safety and health inspection (a free, no penalty consultation visit)
  • Ergonomics training and assessment
  • Bloodborne pathogen training and program assessment
  • Lead safety training
  • Lead contamination assessment (under certain circumstances)
  • Asbestos sample collection (under certain circumstances)
  • Workplace violence prevention program management review
  • Periodic training on various hazards (check the schedule for current offerings)