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OSHA Standards: Construction and General Industry Guide

OSHA Standards: Construction and General Industry Guide

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Osha provides tailored training programs for each industrial sector. It covers construction, maritime, agriculture, and general industry. The term “General Industrial” is used to refer to all the other industries except for maritime, agriculture, and construction. Construction workers get their online safety training courses through OSHA Outreach Courses.

OSHA Construction: 

OSHA 10 and 30-Hour Construction Training courses are specially designed to cater to the needs of employees working at construction sites. They are taught the safety rules and regulations and how to promptly deal with an emergency. 

The OSHA 10-hour course and the OSHA 30 construction course teach employees how to recognize hazards and promptly deal with them. The only difference is that OSHA 30 covers different threats more comprehensively. Hence, employees who shoulder occupational responsibility, legal responsibility, and moral and ethical responsibilities should definitely take this course. 

OSHA 10 and 30-hour courses begin with orientation and instruction. Employees are briefly introduced to the course outline, goals and objectives syllabus, and policies. For each module covered in the course, OSHA requires employees to thoroughly read the resources they provide. Employees are given a 10-question quiz to evaluate their concept clarity on completing every module. Those who pass the quiz will have to clear the final exam. On the completion of the course, employees will be awarded a DOL (Department of Labor) card. This card will serve as evidence that the employee has completed the OSHA training course. 

OSHA General Industry:

Osha provides its services to several industries, including manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. In each industry, it addresses relevant workplace health hazards. A few are mentioned below.

  • Electrical hazards
  • Fall hazards
  • Machine hazards
  • Chemical hazards
  • Noise hazards
  • Fire hazards

Osha offers a 10-hour General Industry Outreach to teach workers how to deal with the hazards mentioned above in detail with their preventive measures. It offers 13 different courses. 

  1. Bloodborne Pathogens
  2. Electrical
  3. Introduction to Ergonomics
  4. Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, Fire Prevention Plans, and Fire Protection
  5. Fall Protection
  6. Hazard Communications
  7. Hazardous Materials
  8. Introduction to Industrial Hygiene
  9. Machine Guarding
  10. Materials Handling, Storage, Use, and Disposal
  11. Personal Protective Equipment 
  12. Safety and Health Programs
  13. Walking and Working Surfaces, including Fall Protection

Course Outcomes:

With these courses, employees learn about hazards, their identification, avoidance, and control. It is important to note that standards are not included in these courses. 

Authorized trainers conduct the outreach courses. Students can choose their trainers according to the industry they work in. Osha suggests that students choose multiple trainers to get maximum exposure to knowledge and training. 

  • #500 Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for the Construction Industry 
  • #501 Trainer Course in Occupational Safety and Health Standards for General Industry

Powerpoint slides are given to students as resources to have an overview of the contents of each course. These slides are also available on the OSHA Website. 

How to find OSHA Standards for each Industry?

Osha has categorized standards for each industry, addressing specific concerns under the Standards – 29 CFR.

Safety Standards for Construction and General Industry are under the standard numbers 1910 and 1926, respectively. 

Differences between OSHA 1910 and OSHA 1926

  • OSHA 1926 is more specific to construction as it has standards for scaffolding, trenching, and other construction-specific activities.
  • There are differences in the acceptable distance to eye washing stations.
  • OSHA 1926 is more strict in terms of procedures. Workers on construction sites must wear fall protection at a height of 6 feet or more. In OSHA 1910, fall protection is required at 4 feet or more.
  • Illumination requirements are different for each. For construction, illumination requirements are more complex than general industry. For example, at least 5 lumens of light on every square foot of surface area is required at a general construction site. Similarly, 5 lumens of light should be placed on every square foot of surface area in indoor warehouses, corridors, hallways, and exitways. Whereas, generally, the industry emphasizes electrical safety. 
  • OSHA 1926 is more disciplinary for confined space entry requirements. Employees need proper training to work in confined places and require a permit system. A standby person must be present outside every confined space while the workers are working inside. OSHA 1910 does not require this many requirements. It focuses merely on the implementation of a confined space entry program and monitoring of hazardous materials in the air. 
  • OSHA 1910 and 1926 have similar PPE standards, but OSHA 1926 has more firm standards for PPE in the construction industry.
  • The timeframe for removing accident prevention signs once a hazard is removed is also different.

How do you determine if your work falls under the category of construction or general industry?

It can be a bit tricky to decide if your work is construction-related or general industry. Consider the following guidelines to gauge.

  • Osha classifies non-construction work as construction work, such as electrical work related to construction projects or renovation of buildings. These operations are not entirely constructional in nature, but OSHA does classify them as construction work.
  • As mentioned above, construction work now includes repair work as well. For example, roofing repair.
  • It does not matter if you hire your company’s one employee or an outsider contractor. For OSHA, the classification of work is important, not the individual doing it. 
  • Suppose the nature of your work is complex. The probability is that OSHA will classify it as construction and not maintenance. 
  • Some general industries are universal because some standards are applied to multiple industries. For example, chemical hazards are found in Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture. Thus, certain industries must be mindful of two different sets of rules. The construction sector must adhere to the standards of both OSHA 1910 and 1926. 


There are no absolute rules to determine whether your industry falls into the category of construction or general industry. The decision has to be made after meticulously examining every aspect of your industry and the needs of workers. 

Once you have identified your company, OSHA takes responsibility for everything else.

OSHA courses are a must-have to safeguard your employees and make your industry a hazard-free one. 

Don’t dilly-dally! Enroll in an OSHA course tailored to your industry today.



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