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April 14, 2023

While every state has some health and safety laws, including the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), many states with a more diverse array of business industries have more complex health and safety laws in order to meet the requirements of the state. Here is what employers need to know regarding Indiana OSHA and health and safety laws.

Indiana Health and Safety Laws for 2023

When it comes to operating a business in Indiana, employers need to ensure that they manage compliance with Indiana OSHA laws, otherwise referred to as IOSHA, as well as Indiana’s Smoke Free-Air Law.

Indiana OSHA (IOSHA)

Indiana is one of many states with a state-run, OSHA-approved, job safety and health program. As a result employers in the state of Indiana must manage compliance with Indiana OSHA (IOSHA) as well as federal OSHA where IOSHA does not apply. 

IOSHA consists of two divisions that are in charge of ensuring compliance with IOSHA standards. These include the Industrial Compliance Division and the Construction Safety Division. IOSHA standards are generally the same as federal OSHA, with a few local emphasis programs, or in other words unique areas of OSHA compliance for Indiana.

Industrial Compliance Division

The Industrial Compliance Division is in charge of administering compliance for public and private sector safety and health for the following industries:

  • Commercial
  • Agricultural
  • Industrial

The Industrial Compliance Division focuses on monitoring employee exposure to occupational safety and health hazards. There are two types of safety officers in this division of IOSHA.

Safety Compliance Officers inspect businesses for workplace hazards related to physical, chemical, and biological harm. They also look for hazards relating to electricity, falls, fires, material handling, and the use / storage of welding materials. 

The other type of officer is referred to as an Industrial Hygiene (IH) Compliance Officer. These officers also investigate for hazards relating to electricity, falls, fires, material handling, and use / storage of welding materials, but also look for hazards related to chemical and noise exposures, as well as hygiene such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other living organisms which may cause adverse health effects.

Construction Safety Division

The Construction Safety Division is in charge of ensuring compliance with health and safety requirements for the construction industry in Indiana.

This division focuses on identifying all kinds of hazards for the construction industry in Indiana specifically while placing a particular focus on physical hazards.

Who is Covered Under Indiana OSHA?

The Indiana State plan covers all private sector employees / workplaces in the state with the following exceptions: 

  • Maritime employment, includes: 
    • Shipyard employment
    • Marine terminals
    • Longshoring
  • Contract workers and contractor-operated facilities involved with USPS operations
  • Some agricultural workers
  • Any hazard, industry, geographical area, operation, or facility over which the State Plan is unable to effectively exercise jurisdiction for reasons not related to the required performance or structure of the plan
  • All working conditions of aircraft cabin crewmembers onboard an aircraft during operation

Indiana OSHA also covers state and local government employers, however, does not cover federal government employers, such as USPS. A brief summary of the Indiana State Plan is included in the Code of Federal Regulations at 29 CFR 1952.17.

Indiana OSHA Emphasis Programs

While Indiana OSHA has a state-run OSHA program, ISOHA standards generally follow that of federal OSHA law. However, States implement state-run plans in order to enforce what are referred to as Local Emphasis Programs, to address the unique safety requirements of the state.

Indiana OSHA Local Emphasis Programs include the following:

  • Falls in Construction and General Industry
  • Renovation, Rehabilitation, and Demolition
  • Residential Construction Projects

Indiana Whistleblower Protection

Indiana OSHA also has protections for employees regarding whistleblowing. Specifically, Indiana Whistleblower protection states that employees who have engaged in a protected activity may not be discriminated against. 

Discrimination or adverse action by an employer includes:

  • Firing or laying off
  • Demoting
  • Denying overtime or promotion
  • Disciplining
  • Denial of benefits
  • Intimidation/harassment
  • Reassignment affecting prospects of promotion
  • Reducing pay or hours

Indiana employees can file a whistleblower complaint online, by calling (317) 234-3946 or by emailing

Indiana Worker Safety Initiatives

As part of the effort toward creating a safe and healthy work environment for employees throughout Indiana, IOSHA has created a set of Worker Safety Initiatives to help keep employees in the state, safe. 

Indiana’s Worker Safety Initiatives include:

  • Agriculture safety
  • Distracted driving
  • Healthcare safety
  • Late-night retail workplace violence
  • Overdose protection (Aaron's Law)
  • Scissor lift safety
  • Teen worker safety
  • Transportation safety
  • Work zone safety
  • Fall protection

IOSHA Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements

Businesses in Indiana must comply with IOSHA recordkeeping and reporting requirements. 

All businesses in Indiana, regardless of size or industry, must:

  • Report a workplace fatality to OSHA within 8 hours
  • Report an in-patient hospitalization to OSHA within 24 hours
  • Report work-related amputations to OSHA within 24 hours
  • Report the loss of an eye to OSHA within 24 hours

Employers can report an incident by phone at (317) 232-2693, or by calling the 24-hour OSHA hotline at 1-800-321-6742.

Indiana Smoke-Free Air Law

Indiana businesses, in addition to the requirements of IOSHA, must also manage compliance with the Indiana State Smoke-Free Air Law.

In order to protect Indiana residents and employees and limit the effects of secondhand smoke, nearly all public places in the state are smoke-free.

In Indiana, smoking is prohibited in the following places of business: 

  • Most places of employment
  • Most public places
  • Restaurants
  • The area within (8) eight feet of a public entrance to a public place or a place of employment
  • Any vehicle owned, leased, or operated by the state if the vehicle is being used for a governmental function

In Indiana, smoking is still permitted in the following places of business:

  • Bars and taverns
  • Tobacco retail shops
  • Cigar bars
  • Hookah bars
  • State-licensed gaming facilities
  • Licensed horse track facilities
  • Membership clubs, if they meet the following criteria:
    • 501(c)3
    • Established as a club or fraternity under the law
    • Provides food and alcoholic beverages to only its members and their guests
    • Vote every two years to allow smoking by its members during business meetings
    • Provide a separate, enclosed designated smoking room that is ventilated and only allows 18 and older to enter

Get Help with Indiana Health and Safety Requirements

Businesses that are struggling with Indiana Health and Safety laws can view the IOSHA FAQ for help but may want to consider reaching out to an Indiana Payroll and HR Company for help. 

For help with Indiana Health and Safety or other Indiana Labor Laws, contact a provider today, or let us help you get connected with a provider.

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