All the OSHA Acronyms! With Definitions!
One of the frustrating things about the government—or any large bureaucratic institution—is the jargon.
Least popular for laymen are acronyms; an acronym (noun) is an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and pronounced as a word.
Without context, they make knowledge less accessible and can create an intimidating distance for average citizens and working professionals alike.
That’s one of the reasons why, at HSI, our rule is to make sure acronyms are spelled out, letter for letter, before introduction and explained for clarity.
Here is a huge list of common OSHA-related acronyms, along with descriptions and links to more information.
5(a)(1) - General Duty Clause of the OSH Act
OSHA’s General Duty Clause (Section5; “Duties”) states: “(a) Each employer (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees…” The General Duty Clause is a catchall tool for enforcement of federal occupational safety and health standards, used by OSHA, occasionally, to issue citations/violations where enforcement is necessary, but specific standards may not be applicable. To keep it simple: an employer’s responsibility is to audit work environments for hazards and hazard exposure, inform employees about those hazards, train them for safety, and mitigate risk across working environments.
“As employers are aware, OSHA enforces safety and health compliance through two methods, the use of 1) written regulations that address specific hazards (e.g., 29 CFR 1910, General Industry; 29 CFR 1926, Construction); and 2) the General Duty Clause [Section 5(a)(1)]. Compliance with the General Duty Clause is challenging because it does not specify precisely what employers are required to do to comply.” – ASSE; Professional Safety; March, 2013
ACGIH - American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
“For nearly 80 years, ACGIH® has been respected for its dedication to the industrial hygiene and occupational and environmental health and safety communities. We have grown and expanded without losing sight of our original goal – to encourage the interchange of experience among industrial hygiene workers and to collect and make accessible such information and data as might be of aid to them in the proper fulfillment of their duties. This original goal is reflected in both our current mission – the advancement of occupational and environmental health – and in our tagline: Defining the Science of Occupational and Environmental Health. ACGIH® is a 501(c)(3) charitable scientific organization that advances occupational and environmental health.”
AAD - Assistant Area Director (OSHA)
The Assistant Area Director has first level supervisory responsibility over CSHOs in the discharge of their duties and may also conduct compliance inspections. Assistant Area Directors ensure technical adequacy in applying the policies and procedures in effect in the Agency. The Assistant Area Director shall implement a quality assurance system suitable to the work group, including techniques such as random review of selected files, review based on CSHO recommendation/request, and verbal briefing by CSHOs and/or review of higher profile or non-routine cases.
AD - Area Director (OSHA)
It is the duty or mission of the Area Director to accomplish OSHA's programs within the delegated area of responsibility of the Area Office. This includes administrative and technical support of the Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) assigned to the Area Office, and the issuing of citations.
ALJ - Administrative Law Judge
Associated here with the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission, ALJ’s preside over the administrative court of the Review Commission, hearing appeals and making legal decisions related to citations, settlements, claims, etc. The cases in which the Review Commission renders decisions arise from inspections conducted by a Federal agency separate from the Review Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is a part of the Department of Labor. OSHRC, or the Review Commission, and OSHA were created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, but the Act mandated that the Review Commission be an independent agency (i.e., not part of another Federal department) to ensure that parties to agency cases receive impartial hearings. Upon notification that an employer or affected employees have contested a citation, OSHRC creates a case file. The Review Commission's Office of the Executive Secretary, which functions much like the court clerk's office, assigns docket numbers to each contest, or new case, at its National Office in Washington, D.C. All affected parties are then notified by mail of the docketing of the case. Thereafter, the Chief ALJ assigns the case to a judge in Washington, D.C. or one of the agency's regional offices, in Atlanta and Denver.
AO - Area Office (OSHA)
An AO is an Area Office. OSHA has 10 regions with Regional Offices (see below): Region I, Boston; Region II, New York; Region III, Philadelphia; Region IV, Atlanta; Region V, Chicago; Region VI, Dallas; Region VII, Kansas City; Region VIII, Denver; Region IX, San Francisco; Region X, Seattle. Area offices exist within each of OSHA’s 10 regions. For example, in Washington State, there are 7 “state plan” offices and one federal Area Office. For the state of Colorado—under federal OSHA— there are 2 Area Offices.
API - American Petroleum Institute
The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 625 corporate members, from the largest major oil company to the smallest of independents, come from all segments of the industry. They are producers, refiners, suppliers, marketers, pipeline operators and marine transporters, as well as service and supply companies that support all segments of the industry. API’s mission is to promote safety across the industry globally and to influence public policy in support of a strong, viable U.S. oil and natural gas industry.
ARA - Assistant Regional Administrator (OSHA)
Reports to the Regional Administrator (RA; see below). It’s exactly what it sounds like. If it is the “…duty or mission of the Regional Administrator to manage, execute and evaluate all programs of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the region,” this person helps with that, or supports that mission. This role does not appear on the macro OSHA organizational chart found here.
AVD - Alleged Violation Description
From the OSHA Field Operations Manual. If a repeated citation is issued, the Compliance Safety & Health Officer (CSHO; see below) must ensure that the cited employer is fully informed of the previous violations serving as a basis for the repeated citation, by notation in the AVD portion of the citation, using the following or similar language:
THE (COMPANY NAME) WAS PREVIOUSLY CITED FOR A VIOLATION OF THIS OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH STANDARD OR ITS EQUIVALENT STANDARD (NAME PREVIOUSLY CITED STANDARD) WHICH WAS CONTAINED IN OSHA INSPECTION NUMBER_________, CITATION NUMBER_________, ITEM NUMBER_________, ISSUED ON (DATE), WITH RESPECT TO A WORKPLACE LOCATED AT___________.
BLS - Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor is the principal Federal agency responsible for measuring labor market activity, working conditions, and price changes in the economy. Its mission is to collect, analyze, and disseminate essential economic information to support public and private decision-making. As an independent statistical agency, BLS serves its diverse user communities by providing products and services that are objective, timely, accurate, and relevant.
CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same. CDC increases the health security of our nation. As the nation’s health protection agency, CDC saves lives and protects people from health threats. To accomplish our mission, CDC conducts critical science and provides health information that protects our nation against expensive and dangerous health threats, and responds when these arise.
CSHO - Compliance Safety & Health Officer
The primary responsibility of the Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) is to carry out the mandate given to the Secretary of Labor, namely, "to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions...." To accomplish this mandate the Occupational Safety and Health Administration employs a wide variety of programs and initiatives, one of which is enforcement of standards through the conduct of effective inspections to determine whether employers are: (1) Furnishing places of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to their employees, and (2) Complying with safety and health standards and regulations. Through inspections and other employee/employer contact, the CSHO can help ensure that hazards are identified and abated to protect workers. During these processes, the CSHO must use professional judgment to adequately document hazards in the case file, as required by the policies and procedures in effect in the Agency. The CSHO will be responsible for the technical adequacy of each case file.
DOL - Department of Labor
To foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is a division of the Department of Labor, or, more accurately, organized under the Office of the Deputy Secretary of DOL.
FIRM - Field Inspection Reference Manual
This is the old (now archived) handbook for OSHA’s Compliance Safety & Health Officers, since replaced by the Field Operations Manual (FOM; see below).
FOM - Field Operations Manual
This is the handbook currently used by OSHA’s Compliance Safety & Health Officers. It’s 280 pages long, and intended to…
To provide OSHA offices, State Plan programs and federal agencies with policy and procedures concerning the enforcement of occupational safety and health standards. Also, this instruction provides current information and ensures occupational safety and health standards are enforced with uniformity. This instruction provides current information and guidance to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) national, regional, and area offices concerning OSHA’s policy and procedures for implementing inspections, issuing citations and proposing penalties. This FOM is a reference document for field personnel, providing enforcement policies and procedures in conducting OSHA investigations.
FTA - Failure to Abate
Related to violations, a “Failure To Abate Penalty” addresses the lapse of time over which a violation was supposed to be corrected. OSHA specifies “abatement periods” on citations, and that’s the date by when corrective action must be taken and documented, appeals notwithstanding.
HAZCOM - Hazard Communication Standard - 29 CFR 1910.1200
HAZCOM is a common abbreviation for OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is an OSHA standard related to chemical and material safety, written to protect workers from the hazards of inherently dangerous substances. The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) is one of OSHA’s most frequently cited violations. OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard has been in place since 1994—it’s federal law (1910.1200). OSHA recently amended its Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) to incorporate elements of the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), a relatively new policy developed by the UN to standardize international hazard communication. The GHS was written to solve a serious problem— an inconsistent, patchwork regulatory system of different chemical safety laws for different countries, that exposed workers to risk—by providing clarity to chemical manufacturers, importers, and consumers. Another way to look at it is that the GHS is replaced major parts of the HCS. While the HCS has changed, it will remain the governing law for chemical companies doing business in and with the U.S.
IDLH – Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health
The Immediately dangerous to life or health air concentration values (IDLH values) developed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) characterize these high-risk exposure concentrations and conditions and are used as a component of respirator selection criteria first developed in the mid-1970s. IDLH values are established (1) to ensure that the worker can escape from a given contaminated environment in the event of failure of the respiratory protection equipment and (2) to indicate a maximum level above which only a highly reliable breathing apparatus, providing maximum worker protection, is permitted.
IH - Industrial Hygienist
Industrial hygienists are scientists and engineers committed to protecting the health and safety of people in the workplace and the community. A professional industrial hygienist is a person possessing either a baccalaureate degree in engineering, chemistry, physics, or a closely related biological or physical science from an accredited college or university, who also has a minimum of three years of industrial hygiene experience. A completed doctorate in a related physical, biological, or medical science or in related engineering can be substituted for two years of the three-year requirement. A completed master's degree in a related physical or biological science or in related engineering can be substituted for one year of the three-year requirement. Under no circumstances can more than two years of graduate training be applied toward the three-year period.
LEP - Local Emphasis Program
Local Emphasis Programs (LEPs) are enforcement strategies designed and implemented at the regional office and/or area office levels. These programs are intended to address hazards or industries that pose a particular risk to workers in the office's jurisdiction. The emphasis programs may be implemented by a single area office, or at the regional level (Regional Emphasis Programs), and applied to all of the area offices within the region. These LEPs will be accompanied by outreach intended to make employers in the area aware of the program as well as the hazards that the programs are designed to reduce or eliminate.
MOU - Memorandum of Understanding
A “Memorandum of Understanding” is an official document outlining the details of intergovernmental relationships, “…a formal agreement between two or more parties. Companies and organizations can use MOUs to establish official partnerships. MOUs are not legally binding but they carry a degree of seriousness and mutual respect, stronger than a gentlemen's agreement.” For examples of MOUs associating OSHA with other federal government entities, look here.
SDS - Material Safety Data Sheet
The Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) (29 CFR 1910.1200(g)), revised in 2012, requires that the chemical manufacturer, distributor, or importer provide Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) (formerly MSDSs or Material Safety Data Sheets) for each hazardous chemical to downstream users to communicate information on these hazards. The information contained in the SDS is largely the same as the SDS, except now the SDSs are required to be presented in a consistent user-friendly, 16-section format. This brief provides guidance to help workers who handle hazardous chemicals to become familiar with the format and understand the contents of the SDSs.
The SDS includes information such as the properties of each chemical; the physical, health, and environmental health hazards; protective measures; and safety precautions for handling, storing, and transporting the chemical. The information contained in the SDS must be in English (although it may be in other languages as well). In addition, OSHA requires that SDS preparers provide specific minimum information as detailed in Appendix D of 29 CFR 1910.1200. The SDS preparers may also include additional information in various section(s).
Sections 1 through 8 contain general information about the chemical, identification, hazards, composition, safe handling practices, and emergency control measures (e.g., fire fighting). This information should be helpful to those that need to get the information quickly. Sections 9 through 11 and 16 contain other technical and scientific information, such as physical and chemical properties, stability and reactivity information, toxicological information, exposure control information, and other information including the date of preparation or last revision. The SDS must also state that no applicable information was found when the preparer does not find relevant information for any required element.
The SDS must also contain Sections 12 through 15, to be consistent with the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS), but OSHA will not enforce the content of these sections because they concern matters handled by other agencies.
MSHA - Mine Safety and Health Administration
Like OSHA, but for the mining industry. Created in 1977, the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) helps to reduce deaths, injuries, and illnesses in the nation's mines with a variety of activities and programs. The Agency develops and enforces safety and health rules for all U.S. mines, and provides technical, educational and other types of assistance to mine operators. MSHA works cooperatively with industry, labor, and other Federal and state agencies to improve safety and health conditions for all miners in the United States. For MSHA Training Online visit: https://mshatrainingonline.com/
NCFLL - National Council of Field Labor Locals
The Executive Board of the National Council of Field Labor Locals (NCFLL) is composed of eleven national officers. The Executive Board negotiates and enforces the national Agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). The Executive Board also meets regularly with USDOL management to consult on issues relevant to administration of the Agreement and to conduct mid-term bargaining. The President of the NCFLL, in consultation with constituent Local presidents, appoints representatives at the regional level to meet and consult with regional management and to conduct mid-term bargaining at the regional level.
NEP - National Emphasis Program
When routine enforcement procedures are not going far enough to protect workers, OSHA can enact a Special Emphasis Program to target additional inspections and improve worker safety. For example, if there was a spike in illness, injury, or fatality rates in a specific industry anywhere in the country, OSHA might then create a Special Emphasis Program to lower risk or mitigate corresponding hazards. OSHA uses Special Emphasis Programs to prioritize and target inspections and enforcement activity, and respond to changes in the laborscape that pose new threats to workers. Special Emphasis Programs are also created for the purpose of scheduling inspections where routine procedure does not provide direction to area administrators, or provide a frequency of inspection sufficient to address concerns with worker safety. Special Emphasis Program inspections are scheduled with a frequency above the rate of other inspections because they have a higher priority than Site-Specific Targeting plan checks.
Currently, OSHA has 10 active National Emphasis Programs: Combustible Dust; Federal Agencies; Hazardous Machinery; Hexavalent Chromium; Lead; Primary Metal Industries; Process Safety Management; Shipbreaking; Silica; Trenching & Excavation.
Here’s an example of one active National Emphasis Program:
OSHA inspection history has shown that individuals employed in the Primary Metal Industries are exposed to serious safety and health hazards on a daily basis. Previous inspections of primary metal establishments have resulted in citations for overexposures to a wide variety of health hazards including chemical exposures in foundry operations as well as physical stressors such as noise and heat. This National Emphasis Program (NEP) is to identify and reduce or eliminate worker exposures in facilities under the Primary Metal Industries, such as iron foundries and establishments that manufacture nails, insulated wires and cables, steel piping, and copper and aluminum products. This NEP will also heighten health and safety awareness within the affected industries of the potential for worker exposure to harmful chemical and physical hazards so that employers may voluntarily take steps to correct hazards and comply with current safety and health regulations and practices.
To learn more about OSHA’s Special Emphasis Programs: 161 Reasons for an OSHA Inspection
NFPA - National Fire Protection Association
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global nonprofit organization, established in 1896, devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering our mission. NFPA membership totals more than 60,000 individuals around the world. Our mission: We help save lives and reduce loss with information, knowledge and passion. NFPA is widely known as a codes and standards organization – that’s the backbone of what we do, and it always will be. Our mission is to provide you with the information and knowledge you need to do your job well in today’s ever-changing environment. Our 300 codes and standards are designed to minimize the risk and effects of fire by establishing criteria for building, processing, design, service, and installation around the world. The more than 250 technical committees, comprised of approximately 9,000 volunteers, review public inputs and vote on the revisions in a process that is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. NFPA provides free online access to its codes and standards.
Why it matters? NFPA safety standards are recognized and often adopted by OSHA; failure to abide by certain NFPA standards, like NFPA 70E (Arc Flash), may result in violation. Learn more about nfpa 70e training.
NIOSH - National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (Part of CDC; see above)
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established NIOSH as a research agency focused on the study of worker safety and health, and empowering employers and workers to create safe and healthy workplaces. NIOSH is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It has the mandate to assure “every man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” NIOSH has more than 1,300 employees from a diverse set of fields including epidemiology, medicine, nursing, industrial hygiene, safety, psychology, chemistry, statistics, economics, and many branches of engineering.
OSHRC - Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission
The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission is an independent federal agency, providing administrative trial and appellate review, created to decide contests of citations or penalties resulting from OSHA inspections of American work places. The Review Commission functions as a two-tiered administrative court, with established procedures for (1) conducting hearings, receiving evidence and rendering decisions by its Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) and (2) discretionary review of ALJ decisions by a panel of Commissioners. OSHA is part of the Department of Labor, whereas OSHRC is an independent federal agency, separate and apart from the Department of Labor. OSHRC serves as an administrative court that holds administrative hearings and provides appellate review of contested OSHA citations and penalties issued to an employer following an OSHA inspection. The vast majority of the records maintained by OSHRC are materials that have been filed for these trials and appeals. The mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission is to provide fair and timely adjudication of workplace safety and health disputes between the Department of Labor and employers. In doing this, the Commission plays a vital role in encouraging safe and healthy workplaces for American workers.
OSH Act - Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970
Landmark legislation that established the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.
To assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women; by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the States in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions; by providing for research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health; and for other purposes.
OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration
With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor. The administrator for OSHA is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. OSHA's administrator answers to the Secretary of Labor, who is a member of the cabinet of the President of the United States.
OTI - OSHA Training Institute
The OSHA Training Institute provides training and education in occupational safety and health for federal and state compliance officers, state consultants, other federal agency personnel, and the private sector. See FAQs.
OTS - Other Than Serious
A type of OSHA violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature, is classified as "other-than-serious."
PEL - Permissible Exposure Limit
A permissible exposure limit (PEL) is a legal limit in the United States for exposure of an employee to a chemical substance or physical agent such as loud noise. Permissible exposure limits are established by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
PMA - Petition to Modify Abatement
Standard Number: 1903.14a - Inspections, Citations, and Proposed Penalties
An employer may file a petition for modification of abatement date when he has made a good faith effort to comply with the abatement requirements of a citation, but such abatement has not been completed because of factors beyond his reasonable control.
PSM - Process Safety Management
If your organization operates a facility where over 10,000lbs of flammable liquids or chemicals are used or stored, then you need process safety management training, along with a written safety program. Process safety management is a comprehensive approach to prevent chemical releases. An effective process safety management program includes an evaluation of the whole process including design and technology, and other elements that might impact the process.
R - Repeat
This is a type of violation issued by OSHA. An employer may be cited for a repeat violation if that employer has been cited previously for a substantially similar condition and the citation has become a final order of the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (Commission). OSHA's citation policy is to issue a repeat citation if: 1) The repeat citation is issued within 3 years of the final order date of the previous citation, or; 2) The citation is issued within 3 years of the final abatement date of the previous citation, whichever is later.
RA - Regional Administrator (OSHA)
It is the duty or mission of the Regional Administrator to manage, execute and evaluate all programs of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the region. The Regional Administrator reports to the Assistant Secretary through the career Deputy Assistant Secretary.
REL - Recommended Exposure Limit (NIOSH)
Acting under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 USC Chapter 15) and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (30 USC Chapter 22), NIOSH develops and periodically revises recommended exposure limits (RELs) for hazardous substances or conditions in the workplace. NIOSH also recommends appropriate preventive measures to reduce or eliminate the adverse health and safety effects of these hazards. To formulate these recommendations, NIOSH evaluates all known and available medical, biological, engineering, chemical, trade, and other information relevant to the hazard. These recommendations are then published and transmitted to OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) for use in promulgating legal standards.
RO - Regional Office
OSHA has 10 regions with regional offices: Region I, Boston; Region II, New York; Region III, Philadelphia; Region IV, Atlanta; Region V, Chicago; Region VI, Dallas; Region VII, Kansas City; Region VIII, Denver; Region IX, San Francisco; Region X, Seattle.
RSOL - Regional Solicitor of Labor
The Office of the Solicitor also has seven regional and seven branch offices which serve as lower court trial litigation centers. The regional offices are headed by Regional Solicitors and Deputy Regional Solicitors; each branch office is headed by an Associate Regional Solicitor. The regional offices provide trial litigation and general legal services to the Department, and aid regional officials in carrying out their responsibilities. The regional offices recommend and prosecute litigation at the administrative and District trial levels, prepare legal interpretations and opinions, and assist the United States Attorney in the prosecution of criminal cases.
S - Serious
A type of violation issued by OSHA. A serious violation exists when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.
SDI – Standard Directive Interpretation
A standard directive interpretation (SDI) is a letter from OSHA answering an inquiry from the public. These letters are a great source of information for answers to difficult safety questions, explaining the finer points of compliance with occupational safety and health standards, along with enforcement of said standards.
SOL - Solicitor of Labor
The Office of the Solicitor's mission is to meet the legal service demands of the Department of Labor. Under the leadership of the Front Office, the Office of the Solicitor's ten divisions in the Washington, D.C. headquarters office are organized by program-specific areas to provide client agencies with focused legal services and advice. The Office of the Solicitor also has seven regional and seven branch offices which serve as lower court trial litigation centers and provide legal services and advice within the regions.
SST - Site Specific Targeting
Of the approximately 35,000 inspections OSHA conducts in a year, about 3,000 are Site-Specific Targeting (SST) inspections. The remaining inspections are imminent danger, fatality, catastrophe, complaint, referral, follow-up, and other programmed inspections. The other programmed inspections are mainly Emphasis Program inspections, which focus on a particular safety or health hazard (e.g., amputation, silica), or the hazards of a specific industry (e.g., logging, nursing homes). SST inspection plans are based on the self-reported injury and illness information submitted by employers in OSHA's Data Initiative. Each Federal OSHA Area Office receives a list of establishments for their primary targeting list, and is expected to complete inspections of these establishments in about a year. Establishments selected for a site-specific inspection receive both a comprehensive safety and a comprehensive health inspection. The intention of the SST and the Data Initiative is to help OSHA make more effective use of its enforcement resources. In order to achieve OSHA's goal of reducing the number of injuries and illness that occur at individual worksites/establishments, the SST directs enforcement resources to those worksites where the highest rate of injuries and illnesses have occurred.
TLV - Threshold Limit Value
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH®), threshold Limit Values (TLVs®) refer to airborne concentrations of chemical substances and represent conditions under which it is believed that nearly all workers may be repeatedly exposed, day after day, over a working lifetime, without adverse effects.
TWA - Time Weighted Average
Related to chemical exposure, a time weighted average (TWA) is a measurement used to determine Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) and Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs). Time weighted averages are in the context of a 40-hour workweek, and are based on 8 or 10-hour increments.
VPP - Voluntary Protection Program
The Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) recognize employers and workers in the private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control; worksite analysis; training; and management commitment and worker involvement. To participate, employers must submit an application to OSHA and undergo a rigorous onsite evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals. Union support is required for applicants represented by a bargaining unit. VPP participants are re-evaluated every three to five years to remain in the programs. VPP participants are exempt from OSHA programmed inspections while they maintain their VPP status.
W - Willful
This is another type of OSHA violation. A willful violation is defined as a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.