Boyle's Wisconsin Safe-Place Law



Chapter One: Nature of Safe-Place Law
    (e) Source of Law
The basic safe-place statute is Wis. Stat. sec. 101.11 (formerly 101.06). The provisions of this section are elaborated upon in Wis. Stat. sec. 101.01(2)(a)-(i).

Section 101.11: Employer's duty to furnish safe employment and place. (1) Every employer shall furnish employment which shall be safe for the employes therein and- shall furnish a place of employment which shall be safe for employes therein and for frequenters thereof and shall furnish and use safety devices and safeguards, and shall adopt and use methods and processes reasonably adequate to render such employment and places of employment safe, and shall do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, health, safety, and welfare of such employes and frequenters. Every employer and every owner of a place of employment or a public building now or hereafter constructed shall so construct, repair or maintain such place of employment or public building as to render the same safe.

(2) (a) No employer shall require, permit or suffer any employe to go or be in any employment or place of employment which is not safe, and no such employer shall fail to furnish, provide and use safety devices and safeguards, or fail to adopt and use methods and processes reasonably adequate to render such employment and place of employment safe. and no such employer shall fail or neglect to do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, health, safety or welfare of such employes and frequenters; and no employer or owner, or other person shall hereafter construct or occupy or maintain any place of employment, or public building, that is not safe, nor prepare plans which shall fail to provide for making the same safe.

(b) No employe shall remove, displace, damage, destroy or carry off any safety device or safeguard furnished and provided for use in any employment or place of employment, nor interfere in anv way with the use thereof by any other person, nor shall any such employe interfere with the use of any method or process adopted for the protection of any employe in such employment or place of employment or frequenter of such place of employment, nor fall or neglect to do every other thing reasonably necessary to protect the life, health, safety or welfare of such employes or frequenters.

(3) This section applies to community-based residential facilities as defined in s. 50.01 (1).

Section 101.01(2): (2) The following terms as used in ss. 101-01 to 101.25, shall be construed as follows:

(a) The term "employe" shall mean and include every person who may be required or directed by any employer, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to engage in any employment, or to go or work or be at any time in any place of employment. [1983]

(b) The term "employer" shall mean and include every person, firm, corporation, state, county, town, cit,, village, school district, sewer district, drainage district and the other public or quasi-public corporations as well as any agent, manager, representative or other person having control or custody of any employment, place of employment or of any employe. [1983]

(c) The term "employment" shall mean and include any trade, occu ation or process of manufacture, or any method of carrying on such trade, occupation or process of manufacture in which any person may be engaged, except in such private domestic service as does not involve the use of mechanical power and in farm labor as used in par. (a). [1983]

(d) "Frequenter" means every person, other than an employee. who may go in or be in a place o f employment or public building under circumstances which render such person other than a trespasser. Such term includes a pupil or student when enrolled in or receiving instruction at an educational institution. [1983]

(e) The term "owner" shall mean and include every person, firm, corporation, state, county, town, city, village, school district, sewer district, drainage district and other public or quasi,public corporations as well as any manager, representative, officer, or other person having ownership, control or custody of any place of employment or public building, or of the construction, repair or maintenance of any place of employment or public building, or who prepares plans for the construction of any place of employment or public building. Said ss. 101.01 to 101.25 shall apply, so far as consistent, to all architects and builders. [1983]

(f) "Place of employment" includes everv place, whether indoors or out or underground and the premises appurtenant thereto where either temporarily or permanently any industry, trade or business is carried on, or where anv process or operation, directly or indirectly related to anv industry, trade or business, is carried on, and where any person is, directly or indirectly, employed by another for-direct or indirect gain or profit, but does not include any place where persons are employed in private domestic service which does not involve the use of mechanical power or in farming. "Farming" includes those activities specified in s. 102.04 (3), and also includes the transportation of farm products, supplies or equipment directly to the farm'by the operator of said farm or employes for use thereon, if such activities are directly or indirectly for the purpose of producing commodities for market, or as an accessory to such production. When used with relation to building codes, "place of employment" does not include a previously constructed building used as-a community-based residential facility as defined in s. 50.01 (1) which serves 20 or fewer unrelated residents, except for the purposes of s. 101-11. [1983]

(g) "Public building" means any structure, including exterior parts of such building, such as a porch, exterior platform or steps providing means of ingress or egress, used in whole or in part as a place of resort, assemblage, lodging, trade, traffic, occupancy, or use by the public or by 3 or more tenants. When used in relation to building codes, "public building" does not include a previously constructed building used as a community-based residential facility as defined in s. 50.01 (1) which serves 20 or fewer unrelated residents. [1983]

(h) The term "safe" or "safety" as applied to an employment or a place of employment or a public building, shall mean such freedom from danger to the life, health, safety or welfare of employes or frequenters, or the public, or tenants, or fire fighters, and such reasonable means of notification, egress and escape in case of fire, and such freedom from danger to adjacent buildings or other property as the nature of the employment, place of employment, or public building, will reasonably permit. [1983] [1985]

(i) The term "welfare" shall mean and include comfort, decency and moral well-being. [1983]


1983. See 1983 Act 189 section 143 renumbering section
101.01 (2) (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i) to
101.01 (2) (f), (c), (b), (a), (d), (i), (h), (g) and (e).

1985. See 1985 Act 135 section 83(3) to-wit: "Whenever the term 'fireman' or 'firemen' appears in the following sections of the statutes, the term'fire fighter' or 'fire fighters' respectively, is substituted: ... 101.01(2)(h) ...


Revised October 6, 2001

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