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OSHA Safety Compliance

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. Its mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and occupational fatality by issuing and enforcing standards for workplace safety and health. Since OSHA was created in 1971, work-related deaths have decreased by 62% and work-related injuries have decreased by 42%.

OSHA federal regulations cover most private sector workplaces. The OSH Act permits states to develop approved plans as long as they cover public sector employees and they provide protection equivalent to that provided under Federal OSHA regulations.

OSHA standards are set forth in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The most widely-folllowed OSHA regulations can be found in Parts 1904, 1910 and 1926. OSHA non-compliance with these standards can result in fines up to $70,000, depending on the severity of the violation in terms of potential harm to workers.

OSHA 29 CFR Standards

OSHA standards are divided into five major industry categories as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) shown below. The most common standards are OSHA 29 CFR 1910 and 29 CFR 1926:


29 CFR 1904 - Recordkeeping and Reporting

29 CFR 1910 - General Industry

29 CFR 1926 - Construction Industry

29 CFR 1915 - Maritime Industry

29 CFR 1928 - Agriculture Industry

29 CFR 1918 - Longshoring Industry


Compliance FAQ

What is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)?
The charter of OSHA is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Since OSHA was created in 1971, work-related deaths have decreased by 62% and work-related injuries have decreased by 42%.

What are the priorities of OSHA?
OSHA gives the following priority order when conduction inspections:
1. Imminent work accidents about to happen.
2. Deaths and accidents serious enough to send 3+ workers to the hospital.
3. Worker complaints.
4. Referrals from other government agencies
5. Employers that report high injury and illness rates
6. Follow-up inspections.

What are the OSHA standards used for compliance?
OSHA standards are set forth in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). OSHA regulations can be found in Parts 1904, 1910 and 1926.

What is the penalty for a OSHA non-compliance violation?
OSHA penalties can go up to $70,000, depending upon how likely the violation is to result in serious harm to workers. Serious violations may have penalties up to $7,000, while repeat and willful violations can penalties up to $70,000.

Are OSHA posters required in all workplaces?
Yes, all businesses with employees must display an official federal or state OSHA poster that educates employees on their safety and health rights.

What are the record-keeping requirements needed for OSHA compliance?
Employers with 11 or more employeesmust keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses. Low-hazard industries such as retail, service, finance, insurance, and real estate are exempt from OSHA recordkeeping compliance.

OSHA Forms 300, 300A, 301

OSHA Form 300 is used to classify work injuries and illnesses and to note the extent and severity of each case. When an incident occurs, Form 300 is used the to record specific details about what happened and how it happened. Click here for a PDF version of OSHA Form 300.

Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

There are three main sections to OSHA Form 300 for incident reporting:

1. Identify the person (name, title)
2. Describe the case (date, where occurred, description)
3. Classify the case (injury severity, duration of injury)

Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

All businesses covered by 29 CFR Part 1904 must complete OSHA Form 300A, even if no work-related injuries or illnesses occurred during the year. The three main sections of Form 300A include:

1. Number of cases
2. Number of days
3. Injury and illness types.

Form 301: Injury and Illness Incident Report

You must complete OSHA Form 301 within 7 calendar days after you receive information that a recordable work-related injury or illness has occurred.

You also must keep Form 301 on file for five years, according to Title 29 CFR, which is the recordkeeping rule for OSHA.

Training Courses

OSHA training courses fall under four major categories:

OSHSA General Industry Training

10-Hour Course
30-Hour Course
501 Course

OSHSA Construction Industry Training

10-Hour Course
30-Hour Course
500 Course

OSHA Hazardous Waste HAZWOPER Training

8-Hour HAZWOPER
24-Hour HAZWOPER
40-Hour HAZWOPER

OSHA Trainer Training

OSHA 500 (Prereq: 510 course + 5 years exp)
OSHA 501 (Prereq: 511 course + 5 years exp)