What Rules Are Covered by OSHA?


Quick Answer

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, regulates a wide range of workplace safety issues. They develop and enforce regulations both for workplaces in general and for industry-specific regulations. For example, construction employers have a specific set of regulations, in addition to general provisions, explains OSHA.

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Full Answer

OSHA is charged with drafting regulations as well as investigating and enforcing penalties against violators. Many of the regulations apply to all industries, explains OSHA. For example, OSHA has regulations regarding an employer's obligation to provide fire safety and employee evacuation in case of an emergency, which apply to all employers. These rules address the number of emergency exits and how to conduct emergency drills.

OSHA also regulates certain industries that have more specific needs, as noted on the OSHA website. The construction industries and maritime industries are heavily regulated, as those industries have more hazards than the average workplace. It also regulates industries that include greater hazards to the public, such as agriculture and food production.

In addition to national regulation, state OSHA offices have their own enforcement standards specific to that state, notes OSHA. For example, some states in 2014 adopted new standards regarding operations of cranes or derricks, but not all states chose to do so.

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