July 16, 2018 2 min read

OSHA Basics: Vertical and Horizontal Standards


AECEngineering & DesignFacilities ManagementIndustrial


Compliance and CertificationSafetyVector EHS Management


Here’s another one of our OSHA Basics series of articles.

In this one, we’re going to explain what a “vertical” standard is and what a “horizontal” standard is.

If that catches your attention or piques your curiosity, read on!

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Vertical and Horizontal Standards

Most OSHA standards are horizontal standards. That means they apply to all employers in any industry.

Some OSHA standards, however, are vertical standards. This means they apply to just a specific industry.

Horizontal Standards

Horizontal standards are the OSHA standards that apply to most workplaces.

Examples of horizontal standards include:

Vertical Standards

Vertical standards apply to specific industries or to particular operations, practices, conditions, processes, means, methods, equipment, or installations.

Examples of OSHA vertical standards include:

When OSHA has a vertical standard that applies to a particular industry (or employer in that industry), then that standard takes precedence over any horizontal standard.

OSHA General Industry Compliance Guide

Compliance guidelines for the OSHA 1910/general industry standards.

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General Industry OSHA Compliance Guide Image

Conclusion: OSHA’s Vertical and Horizontal Standards

If you found this “OSHA Basics” article on OSHA’s vertical and horizontal standards helpful, you may also want to check out some of the following articles:

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