From OSHKY Knowledge Library

Determining whether KYOSH or federal OSHA has jurisdiction when enforcing occupational safety and health laws within the borders of Kentucky is almost always a clean-cut decision. However, there are cases where it can be confusing and not quite black-and-white. Scenarios where this confusion can arise include navigable waterways, federal installations or properties, and during the construction of bridges. In fact, the determination of jurisdiction can become so complicated that both federal and state inspectors conduct a joint investigation until a decision can be determined.

This article attempts to show the lines that have been established between federal and state jurisdictions by summarizing some common scenarios. [and maybe not-so-common ones?]

IMPORTANT: A primary document for the establishment of these jurisdictional lines is a 2007 Memorandum of Understanding between the US DOL and the KYOSH program. This should be consulted if any questions arise concerning jurisdiction. This MOU is a clarification of 29 CFR 1952.230.

Areas of Jurisdiction

The following table lists types of employers/employees and whose jurisdiction they would fall under.

Type of Worksite Jurisdiction
Federal Employees Federal
Private Contractors at Federal Facilities

Ceded Properties

Non-Ceded Properties



Railroad KYOSH
Military Bases (Employees & Contractors) Federal
Veterans Hospitals (Employees & Contractors) Federal
Bluegrass Station

Federal EEs & Contractors

All Other Employees



Kentucky National Guard Facilities

Federal Civilians

State Civilians & Private Contractors



Maritime (Employees & Contractors) Federal
Marine Terminals

Production At or Adjacent To

State & Local Government-Owned Ports

Public Sector Employees

Private Sector Employees



Recreational Boat Builders

(On Navigable Waterways or Land-Based)

TVA (Its Employees; Contractors) Federal

Past Instances of Hairy Jurisdictional Issues