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    Default OSHA Regulation vs OSHA Standard

    I am having trouble finding information concerning the difference between OSHA regulations vs OSHA Standards. I also am seeking examples of each. Any help in clarifying this issue is appreciated.
    Lt C. Carpenter BS, NREMT-P

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    If you are covered by OSHA they are all LAWS. In NJ private employers fall under OSHA while public employees (including volunteers) fall under NJ PEOSHA. Their rules used to differ slightly but NJ is currently adopting all OSHA regs verbatim.

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    Default OSHA regulation vs OSHA standard

    Hello;
    I take it that you are enrolled in the safety officer online course with Columbia Sourthern University, if so I am also. I was trying to research that same question.

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    The difference between a standard and a regulation as it has been explained to me is: A standard is the topic line (I.E) 29 CFR 1910 Occupation and Safety Standard. Under the standard there are subparts with numerous topics. The subpart (regulation) is the part of the standard that is enforceable by law (I.E.) 29CFR 1910. (146) is for confined space and what needs to be performed in order to make a safe entry, 29CFR 1910.147 is for the control of hazardous energy (lock out/tag out). I hope I was told correctly and hope this helps.

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    Not all employers fall under OSHA regulations. For example, government employers in my state are not covered by OSHA but private employers are. My understanding is that a private employer reads a statute as a law or regulation while a government employer reads a statute as a standard. The private employer is held to the statute in the CFR by the power of legal enforcement while a government employer cannot be held, in my state, legally accountable so it is only a standard. In court, a good lawyer can cite a standard as being nationally accepted and that every employer should be held to it. However, there is not a legal obligation that is enforceable by criminal law to follow a standard; only a civil obligation. Clear as mud? I'm not sure I explained my understanding of it very well.

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    A standard is only going to come to play if someone gets hurt for the particular situation (i.e., wearing/not wearing a SCBA in a structure fire). You have to remember in court proceedings it is a jury of your peers, not counter parts and they lay person should interpret an acceptable standard as what is right to be done to protect the worker. Lets turn things around and use NFPA, it is a standard but when there is not a clear definition in OSHA for a particular issue, say SCBA again, OSHA reverts to NFPA a standard to get determination. In OSHA1910.134, it states that SCBA are to be tested per NFPA guidlines. I have discussed it with a OSHA inspector before and he had stated thet if there are not clear determinations in OSHA it reverts to the "recognized" acceptable guidlines to determin issues.

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    Another way a standard can be used is when it is adopted. For example, a fire department can take the NFPA 1710 standard to the city commission/council of their town and recommend that it be adopted. If the city commission/council adopts it, then it becomes a regulation or legal code within that city and it is enforceable as law. It is much like the model fire codes. The International Fire Code and Uniform Fire Codes are standards unless the city adopts them into their civic code. Once they are adopted by the city, then they become lawful codes that can be enforced by the fire department.

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