OSHA standards generally apply to limited types of occupations in limited industries. As the law currently stands there are four broad industry categories of businesses that fall under the act:

  • General Industry
  • Construction
  • Maritime and Longshoring
  • Agricultural

Within the four major categories of industries noted above, certain types of businesses within those categories are excluded from having the act applied to them or have additional requirements.


What Types of Limitations Are There on the Application of OSHA in the General Industry Category?

General industry standards apply to all covered employers. “Special” standards exist for bakery equipment, laundry machinery, sawmills, and the like. Specific working conditions in General Industry may be subject to addition standards contained in the construction, maritime and longshoring, or agricultural standards.

What Types of Businesses Fall into the Construction Category?

Construction standards apply to employers with employees “engaged in construction work,” defined as “work for construction, alteration, and/or repair, including painting and decorating.” Architectural, engineering, or construction management firms are subject to the construction standards as long as their responsibilities are for more than just supervision of conformity with construction rules.

What Types of Businesses Fall into the Maritime and Longshoring Category?

This category generally covers businesses that are involved in “ship repairing,” “ship building,” “shipbreaking,” ” general longshoring” “any repair of a vessel, including, but not restricted to, alterations, conversions, installations, cleaning, painting, and maintenance work,” “the construction of a vessel, including the installation of machinery and equipment,” ” breaking down of a vessel’s structure for the purpose of scrapping the vessel, including the removal of gear, equipment, or any component part of a vessel,” and “the loading, unloading, moving, or handling of, cargo, ship’s stores, gear, etc., into, in, on, or out of any vessel.”


What Types of Business Are Covered in the Agricultural Category?

OSHA hasn’t defined “agricultural operation,” but Congress has limited the application of OHSA to “any operation involved in the growing or harvesting of crops or the raising of livestock or poultry, or related activities conducted by a farmer, on sites such as farms, ranches, orchards, dairy farms or similar establishments.”


Should I Contact a Lawyer Regarding my OSHA Problems?

Particularly if you are a business owner subject to OSHA regulations you will want to be up to date on OSHA’s rules and applicability. A good employment lawyer will make you aware of these standards, help you determine whether they apply to you and, and can help you plan to have your business meet these standards.