A woman has her temperature taken by a co-worker.

Public Employee Safety & Health Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Public Employee Safety & Health Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Public Employee Safety & Health Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Who is PESH?
The Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau (PESH), created in 1980, enforces Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety and health laws.  PESH also enforces some New York state specific safety and health laws.


Who does PESH have authority over?
Public employers including state, county, town, village governments, public authorities, school districts, paid and volunteer fire departments.


Does PESH make appointments when inspecting?
PESH is not permitted to make an appointment or inform the employer in advance of the inspection unless there is a very specific reason to, and it meets exemptions in the law. (12 CRR-NY 802.4)


What permits PESH to inspect the workplace?
The Labor Law (12 NYCRR Part 802.2) states that Inspectors may enter a workplace without delay and at reasonable times for the purpose of conducting an inspection.


Why does PESH enter a workplace?
PESH will conduct an unannounced inspection for various reasons to ensure employers follow safety and health laws.  Reasons for inspections include planned inspections in higher hazard workplaces, a fatality has occurred, a complaint or referral was received by PESH, there were multiple employee hospitalizations, and to ensure hazards are corrected.


How can I confirm the identity of an individual claiming to be a PESH Inspector?
All Inspectors have credentials and shields that reflect their authority to conduct inspection on behalf of the NYS Commissioner of Labor.  To confirm an Inspector’s identity with NYSDOL, please call 1-844-SAFE-NYS.  It is not permitted for anyone to retain, photograph, or make a copy of the Inspector’s credentials and shield.


Who is involved in a PESH inspection?
The highest-ranking individual in charge of safety & health and employee union representatives. Various managers, supervisors, and employees will be interviewed during the inspection process as determined by the Inspector.


What does a PESH inspection consist of?
An opening conference, walk around inspection, interviews, closing conference.  At the closing conference, the Inspector will advise all parties of any apparent hazards identified during the inspection.  


Who is present during employee interviews?
Interviews with employees are private and confidential.  No supervisory staff are permitted during these interviews.  The employee may have a union representative present.


Does conduct matter during a PESH inspection?
Yes.  Inspectors are authorized to suspend an inspection and remove any person whose conduct interferes with a fair and orderly inspection.  PESH has a zero-tolerance policy for any form of harassment, intimidation, or abusive behavior directed towards Inspectors. As public servants, all parties involved in the inspection process are expected to maintain a professional demeanor throughout the inspection process including in person meetings, letters, phone calls and emails.  Additionally, inspection disruptions that will not be tolerated include excessive interruption, attempts to steer focus away from inspection objectives, or efforts to unduly influence the conduct or findings of the inspection.


How do I contact PESH? 
To make a complaint, call 1-844-SAFE-NYS or utilize online form Additional contact information can be found online: https://dol.ny.gov/public-employee-safety-health#how-to-contact-us