- Posted by SafeAdmin
- On June 21, 2016
- 0 Comments
- 10Hour, 30Hour, OSHA, Safety
OSHA OBJECTIVES AND STANDARDS
OSHA seeks to make workplaces safer and healthier by making and enforcing regulations called standards in the OSH Act. The Act itself establishes only one workplace standard, which is called the “general duty standard.” The general duty standard states: “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.” In the OSH Act, Congress delegated authority to OSHA to make rules further implementing the general duty standard.
Standards made by OSHA are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The three types of regulations are called interim, temporary emergency, and permanent. Interim standards were applicable for two years after OSH Act was passed. For this purpose, OSHA was authorized to use the standards of any nationally recognized “standards setting” organization such as those of professional engineering groups. Such privately developed standards are called “national consensus standards.” Temporary emergency standards last only six months and are designed to protect workers while OSHA goes through the processes required by law to develop a permanent standard. Permanent standards are made through the same processes as the regulations made by other federal administrative agencies.
As OSHA drafts a proposal for a permanent standard, it consults with representatives of industry and labor and collects whatever scientific, medical, and engineering data is necessary to ensure that the standard adequately reflects workplace realities. Proposed standards are published in the Federal Register. A comment period is then held, during which input is received from interested parties including, but not limited to, representatives of industry and labor. At the close of the comment period, the proposal may be withdrawn and set aside, withdrawn and re-proposed with modifications, or approved as a final standard that is legally enforceable. All standards that become legally binding are first published in the Federal Register and then compiled and published in the Code of Federal Regulations. Many of OSHA’s permanent standards originated as national consensus standards developed by private professional organizations such as the National Fire Protection Association and the American National Standards Institute. Examples of permanent OSHA standards include limits for exposure of employees to hazardous substances such as asbestos, benzene, vinyl chloride, and cotton dust. See the OSHA Web site at www.osha.gov/SLTC/index.html for more information.