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Industry Terms & Definitions


OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is an agency of the United States Department of Labor that is responsible for worker safety and health protection.


The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent agency of the United States federal government whose mission is to protect human and environmental health.

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

DEP ensures clean air, land and water. They oversee the safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes. We ensure the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, along with working to preserve the state’s wetlands and coastal resources.

State Plans

State plans are OSHA approved workplace safety and health programs operated by individual states or U.S. territories. State plans most cover at least everything in the corresponding OSHA standard.

OSHA Compliance Regulations

OSHA’s mission is to ensure that all employees work in a safe and healthful environment by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. Employers must comply with all OSHA standards and must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires employers to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards.

OSHA Inspection Consultants

Consultants work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice for compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs.

OSHA Citation

When an inspector finds violations of OSHA standards or serious hazards, OSHA may issue citations and fines. OSHA must issue a citation and proposed penalty within six months of the violations occurrence.

OSHA Coverage

The OSH Act covers most private sector employees and their workers, in addition to some public sector employers and workers in the 50 states and certain territories and jurisdictions under federal authority.

OSHA Standards

OSHA’s Construction, General Industry, Maritime and Agriculture standards protect workers from a wide range of serious hazards. Examples of OSHA standards include requirements for employers to:

  • Provide fall protection
  • Prevent trenching cave-ins
  • Prevent exposure to some infectious diseases
  • Ensure the safety of workers who enter
  • Confined spaces
  • Prevent exposure to harmful chemicals
  • Put guards on dangerous machines 

Hazard Communication

Also known as HazCom, Hazard Communication is a set of procedures that employers, manufacturers and importers must implement in the workplace to effectively communicate hazards associated with chemicals during handling, shipping, and any form of exposure.

Lockout / Tagout

The OSHA standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout) addresses the practices and procedures necessary to disable machinery or equipment, thereby preventing the release of hazardous energy while employees perform servicing and maintenance activities. The types of energies are electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, chemical, thermal, and possibly other sources.


The purpose of the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) rule is to help facilities prevent a discharge of oil into navigable waters or adjoining shorelines. The SPCC rule requires facilities to develop, maintain, and implement an oil spill prevention plan (SPCC Plan).


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