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State Standards

There are twenty-eight OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

Under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970, employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that "is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees." The courts have interpreted OSHA's general duty clause to mean that an employer has a legal obligation to provide a workplace free of conditions or activities that either the employer or industry recognizes as hazardous and that cause, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees when there is a feasible method to abate the hazard. This includes heat-related hazards that are likely to cause death or serious bodily harm.

Related Standards
  • The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standard at 29 CFR 1910.132(d) requires every employer in general industry to conduct a hazard assessment to determine the appropriate PPE to be used to protect employees from the hazards identified in the assessment. See also 29 CFR 1915.152 (shipyard), 29 CFR 1917.95 (maritime) and 29 CFR 1926.28 (construction).
  • The Recordkeeping regulation at 29 CFR 1904.7(b)(5) requires that employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses. If a worker requires medical treatment beyond first aid, the worker's illness or injury must be recorded. However, if a worker merely requires first aid for the worker's condition, the employer is not required to record the condition. For example, if a worker requires intravenous fluids, the worker's condition must be recorded. But if a worker is only instructed to drink fluids for relief of heat stress, the worker's condition is not recordable. Refer to 29 CFR 1904.7(b)(5) for an explanation of the difference between medical treatment and first aid.
  • The Sanitation standards at 29 CFR 1910.141, 29 CFR 1915.88, 29 CFR 1917.127, 29 CFR 1918.95, 29 CFR 1926.51 and 29 CFR 1928.110 require employers to provide potable water.
  • The Medical Services and First Aid standards at 29 CFR 1910.151, 29 CFR 1915.87, 29 CFR 1917.26, 29 CFR 1918.97, and 29 CFR 1926.50, require that persons onsite be adequately trained to render first aid, in the absence of medical facilities within close proximity.
  • The Safety Training and Education standard for construction at 29 CFR 1926.21.
Letters of Interpretation
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