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DataPipe OSHA Compliance Glossary

Federal Register The official daily publication for rules, proposals, and notices of federal agencies and organizations, as well as presidential executive orders.
Clean Air Act A set of laws passed in the 1970s to regulate air pollution in the U.S.
compliance officer The OSHA representative who enforces OSHA standards through inspection and investigation.
compliance program The program through which OSHA enforces its standards. Inspection is at the center of the compliance program.
Department of Labor A U.S. cabinet department formed to foster, promote, and develop workers' welfare, to improve working conditions, and to promote opportunities for profitable employment. The Secretary of Labor is the head of the department.
employee An individual who works under the direction of an employer.
employer A person, firm, corporation, contractor, or other association or organization that employs individuals for payment.
ergonomics The study of designing devices and arranging workspaces to decrease operator discomfort or fatigue and increase productivity.
establishment A single physical location where business is conducted or where services are performed.
experimental variance A limited exception to the rule or a temporary deviation from the standard for the purposes of testing alternative methods of compliance.
general duty clause A statement within the OSH Act providing a requirement that employers furnish employment and places of employment which are free from recognized hazards to the health and safety of their employees. The clause covers situations for which there is no specific standard.
guideline A recommendation to follow a particular practice or method. There are no real penalties for non-compliance with guidelines.
Health and Human Services The U.S. government agency charged with protecting the health of citizens.
machine guarding A shield or device covering hazardous areas of a machine to prevent contact with body parts or to control hazards like chips and noise from exiting the machine.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health The federal agency known by the acronym NIOSH that is responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
OSH Act The Occupational Safety and Health Act. The OSH Act of 1970 was passed to assure safe and healthful working conditions through standards, enforcement, research, information, education, and training.
OSHA The Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA is a government agency under the U.S. Dept. of Labor that helps employers reduce injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace.
OSHA Outreach Training Program OSHA's primary system of training employees in the basics of occupational safety and health.
OSHA Training Institute OSHA's main training facility located near Chicago that offers high-level training to safety professionals in the public and private sector.
OSHA Training Institute Education Centers Independently run, regional training centers that perform OSHA-approved safety training.
permanent variance An exception to the rule or an allowed deviation from the standard that has a continuous duration.
personal protective equipment Any of various safety equipment that workers wear or use to prevent injury in the workplace. Safety glasses are common personal protective equipment (PPE).
private-sector Employers consisting of companies or businesses that are separate from the government.
public-sector Employers consisting of departments and agencies of the government.
Secretary of Health and Human Services The head of the Department of Health and Human Services.
Secretary of Labor The head of the Department of Labor.
standard An established policy on a particular practice or method. OSHA standards have the same power as law, and non-compliance can result in fines and other penalties.
temporary variance An exception to the rule or an allowed deviation from the standard that has a limited duration.
Toxic Substances Control Act A law that requires tests of chemicals that may harm human health or the environment, reviews of new chemical substances, limits on the availability of some existing chemicals, and standards on imports to ensure that imported chemicals comply with domestic rules.
variance An exception to the rule or an allowed deviation from the standard.
whistleblower An employee who reports or otherwise exposes possible wrongdoing at his or her workplace.
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