Nonspecific hazards

You must be vigilant of attempts by OSHA to apply its General Duty Clause to a variety of workplace conditions


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees workplace safety by enforcing regulations applicable to various industries, such as maritime, construction and general industry. Roofing contractors likely are most familiar with the rules that apply to construction job sites found in 29 CFR §1926, Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, and the hazard communication and respiratory protection rules found in 29 CFR §1910 for General Industry.

Despite common misinterpretations, regulatory provisions provide an employer with some direction for implementing controls in hazardous workplace conditions. Typically, OSHA enforcement activity references specific regulatory language to apprise a contractor of the deficiency the agency alleges with respect to a hazardous situation.

However, violations may be cited without reference to specific regulatory provisions under the General Duty Clause found in the Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970—legislation that serves as the basis for occupational safety and health rules.

General Duty Clause

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