OSHA Guidance for Funeral Homes Compliance

In 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act “...to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.”

In general, coverage of the Act extends to all employers and their employees in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and all other territories under federal government jurisdiction. Coverage is provided either directly by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or through an OSHA- approved state program.

The 23 states and two territories (shown later) have OSHA-approved safety and health plans which apply to private sector employers. These plans are required to be at least as effective as federal standards. States are given six months to develop plans comparable to new federal mandates. If you are conducting business in one of these states, it is advisable to contact your local OSHA office to determine if additional compliance measures are required.

The Act has a general duty clause  which  states that each employer "shall furnish...a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees."

Beyond the general duty clause, OSHA is responsible for developing legal and  enforceable standards deemed reasonably necessary and appropriate to protect workers on the job. Six standards are of particular concern to funeral directors, they are:

  • Occupational exposure to formaldehyde
  • Hazard communication
  • Protection against bloodborne pathogens
  • Emergency Action
  • Fire Safety
  • Access to employee exposure and medical records

Keep in mind one of OSHA's basic requirements; every employer must display for all employees the Job Safety and Health Protection workplace poster (OSHA 2203 or state equivalent).

Funeral homes are required to report within 48 hours to their local or regional OSHA office any employment accident which results in death of an employee or the hospitalization of five or more employees.

We offer everything a funeral home needs to be in full compliance with OSHA.