Explaining the Health Safety Regulations from OSHA.
Helping you Decipher Federal Safety Standards

Structure of the Occupational Health and Safety Standard

On average, 12 Americans are killed by workplace hazards every day, 365 days a year.  Many thousands more die from occupational illnesses, and over 3 million workers are seriously injured in workplace accidents each year.  To address these alarming rates, Congress launched the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1970 to govern and oversee the occupational health and safety standards of American workers.  OSHA was tasked with the responsibility of promoting safe and healthy work conditions through the establishment of standards, requiring training and education, and by offering assistance to the employers to meet those standards.

What is the Occupational Health and Safety Standard?

The Occupational Health and Safety Standards are the rules set out beginning in 1970 that dictate how employers must protect their employees from workplace hazards.  A safety and health standard is a regulation that demands certain safe conditions and workplace practices that will eliminate or significantly lower the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses. Besides avoiding citations and fines for violating the OSHA Act, the company that follows these occupational safety and health standards experiences both tangible and intangible benefits.


Whether you call them . . .

29 CFR, CFR 29, 29CFR, or Federal CFR . . .

They all refer to the same Code of Federal Regulations -  health safety regulations set out by OSHA in that 1970 OSH Act.


The "29" refers to the Department of Labor, "CFR" refers to Code of Federal Regulations, the "19" following refers to OSHA specifically, and the following two numbers ("03", "10", etc.) refer to the specific standard.


The Occupational Health and Safety Standard is Divided into Many Different Parts.  The Six Most Common Are:

1.  Citations, Inspections, and Penalties (29 CFR 1903)

2.  Recordkeeping (29 CFR 1904)

2.  General Industry (29 CFR 1910) - These health and safety standards apply across the board to most industries, except for the specific industrial standards as listed below:

2.  Construction (29 CFR 1910) 

3.  Maritime Employment (29 CFR 1915-1919)

4.  Agriculture (29 CFR 1928)


What is 29 CFR in Relation to OSHA?

29 CFR Allows OSHA To:

1.  Track causes of occupational health and safety hazards in industries.

2.  Update existing standards as needed to prevent further safety and health on the work site.

3.  Perform scheduled and unannounced safety and health inspections at workplaces.

4.  Site any violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.

5.  Recheck the work site after the given time period to make sure the training and changes were made.

6.  Provide employer and employee support.