Overview

The Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau (PESH), created in 1980, enforces safety and health standards promulgated under the United States Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and several state standards.

The Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) Act created this unit to give occupational safety and health protection to all public sector employees.

Public sector employers include:

  • State
  • County
  • Town
  • Village governments
  • Public Authorities
  • School Districts
  • Paid and Volunteer Fire Departments

The Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau responds to:

  • Deaths related to occupational safety and health
  • Accidents that send two or more public employees to the hospital
  • Complaints from public employees or their representatives

The Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau also:

  • Inspects public employer work sites
  • Gives technical assistance during statewide emergencies  

 

See Public Employee Safety & Health Frequently Asked Questions

 

Important Notice: 

In an effort to protect public sector healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus, the Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) Bureau has adopted the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for Healthcare on October 21, 2021 for public employers in New York State. The ETS will remain in effect for 90 days until January 18, 2022, at which time it may be extended if appropriate.  The healthcare ETS establishes new requirements for settings where employees provide healthcare or healthcare support services, including skilled nursing homes and home healthcare, with some exemptions for healthcare providers who screen out patients who may have COVID-19.  More information about the rule and ways to implement it can be found at the COVID-19 Healthcare ETS website.

 

Effective 6/21/2021, OSHA has issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to address the danger COVID-19 poises to public healthcare workers. Under the ETS, employers must follow requirements such as screening patients, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, installing physical barriers, and more. The goal is to protect workers facing the highest COVID-19 hazards.

 

For more information, visit the COVID-19 Healthcare ETS website.  

Services - PESH Can Help

The Enforcement branch conducts unannounced inspections. The staff will issue a “Notice of Violation and Order to Comply” for any safety and health hazards they find. They set an abatement period for the employers to come into compliance, which they will discuss at a closing conference. If the employer does not comply during the abatement period, a penalty can be imposed. The penalty (not to exceed $200 per calendar day) accumulates until compliance is achieved.

The Consultation branch provides free consultation surveys at the request of a public employer. The employer sets the scope of these surveys. The consultant provides a written report that identifies the hazards and recommends ways to correct each hazard. Consultants can also help to train employees and correct violations cited as a result of an enforcement inspection. All consultation activities are completely separate and kept confidential from the Enforcement Branch.
P206 Consultation Assistance Fact Sheet

The Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau also has created strategic workgroups for identified high-hazard jobs. These groups work with employers to lower the incidence of injuries and illnesses to public employees. Workgroups include:

  • Fire Service
  • County Police Departments
  • Long-Term Health Care

PESH can help:

  • Show employers how to remove workplace hazards, which decrease work time lost by employees and cuts insurance and manpower costs.
  • Provide training and tech tips for employers, help them comply with regulations and make employees safer.
  • Offer safety and health expertise to answer employer questions about safety and health issues or potential hazards of current/proposed equipment or procedures.
  • Help employers develop written programs required under an OSHA standard.
  • Provide the Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau speakers and presentations, give employers details on new or existing standards and help educate public sector employers on ways to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses.

File a Complaint

New York State or local government employees or their official representatives may file a complaint with the Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau if they believe a violation of a safety or health standard exists at their worksite. Download the form (PESH 7) in PDF format to file a complaint. Mail or fax the completed and signed form to the nearest Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau district office.

Petition to Modify an Abatement Date

A public sector employer may apply for a Petition to Modify an Abatement Date (PMA). This applies if the employer is unable to comply with a violation because of unavailability of professional or technical personnel, or of materials and equipment needed to come into compliance.

To be eligible for a PMA, the employer also must prove that they have:

  • Taken all available steps to protect the employees exposed to the hazard
  • Started an effective program for coming into compliance as soon as possible.

Download the PMA form (SH 971) in PDF format to file a Petition to Modify an Abatement Date.

Employee Injury and Illness Recordkeeping

Information and Forms (these must be kept for three years):

Additional Resources

How to Contact Us

Write or call the local District Office for the county where you work. Or you may use the Division of Safety & Health Regional Office Directory page to locate the Division of Safety & Health office in your area.

District Office Address Counties Served
Albany State Office Campus, Building 12, Room 158, Albany, NY 12226
Tel. 518-457-5508
FAX 518-485-1150
Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Ulster, Warren, and Washington
Binghamton 44 Hawley Street, 9th Floor, Binghamton, NY 13901-4409
Tel: 607-721-8211
FAX: 607-721-8207
Allegany, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, Schuyler, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, and Tompkins
Buffalo 290 Main Street, Mezzanine, Buffalo, NY 14202
Tel: 716-847-7133
FAX: 716-847-7108
Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, and Niagara
Garden City 400 Oak Street, Suite 102, Garden City, NY 11530
Tel: 516-228-3970
FAX: 516-794-7714
Nassau and Suffolk
New York City One Hudson Square, 75 Varick Street (7th Floor), New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212-775-3554
FAX: 212-775-3542
Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond
Rochester 109 South Union Street, Room 402, Rochester, NY 14607
Tel: 585-258-4570
FAX: 585-258-4593

Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates

Syracuse 450 South Salina Street, Room 202, Syracuse, NY 13202
Tel: 315-479-3212
FAX: 315-479-3451
Cayuga, Cortland, Jefferson, Onondaga, Oswego, and Seneca
Utica 207 Genesee Street, Room 703A, Utica, NY 13501
Tel: 315-793-2258
FAX: 315-793-2303

Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, and St. Lawrence

White Plains 120 Bloomingdale Road, Room 250, White Plains, NY 10605
Tel: 914-997-9514
FAX: 914-997-9528
Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester