OSHA Basics: Vertical and Horizontal Standards

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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!

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.

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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Jeff Dalto, Senior Learning & Performance Improvement Manager
Jeff is a learning designer and performance improvement specialist with more than 20 years in learning and development, 15+ of which have been spent working in manufacturing, industrial, and architecture, engineering & construction training. Jeff has worked side-by-side with more than 50 companies as they implemented online training. Jeff is an advocate for using evidence-based training practices and is currently completing a Masters degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning from Boise State University. He writes the Vector Solutions | Convergence Training blog and invites you to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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