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Virginia Unique Standards

The State Plan agreement between the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor and Virginia gives the Commonwealth authority to regulate occupational safety and health within its jurisdiction for General Industry, Construction, Agriculture, and the Public Sector.

Federal OSHA retains authority over the following Virginia industries: private-sector maritime (shipyard, marine terminals, longshoring, gear certification), federal military facilities, as well as other federal enclaves where civil jurisdiction has been ceded by the State to the federal government.  Federal OSHA jurisdiction is also retained with respect to federal government employers and employees; and over working conditions where a federal agency has exercised statutory authority to enforce safety and health standards.

The Safety and Health Codes Board has adopted occupational safety and health standards for enforcement by the Department of Labor and Industry.  Virginia Code Section 40.1-1provides that the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry be responsible for administering and enforcing occupational safety and health activities within the Commonwealth.  Within the Department, regulation of Virginia occupational safety and health falls under the purview of the VOSH (Virginia Occupational Safety and Health) Program.

The vast majority of the Virginia occupational safety and health standards are identical to federal OSHA standards.  These federal General Industry standards which Virginia uses can be found at:
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owastand.display_standard_group?p_toc_level=1&p_part_number=1910

The federal Construction Industry standards are found at:
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owastand.display_standard_group?p_toc_level=1&p_part_number=1926

and the Standards for Agriculture are located at:
http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owastand.display_standard_group?p_toc_level=1&p_part_number=1928

The federal Maritime Standards are found at:  http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owasrch.search_form?p_doc_type=STANDARDS&p_toc_level=1&p_keyvalue=Maritime
[NOTE:  VOSH Maritime Standards only apply to public sector employers and employees in Virginia.  Private sector maritime employers and employees are covered by federal OSHA jurisdiction.]  

However, there are several standards that are unique to Virginia and can be accessed by clicking the link below. They are unique in the sense that federal OSHA either does not have a comparable standard or, if it does, it differs substantively and has been superceded by the unique Virginia standard.

For ease of use, instead of reference to the Virginia Administrative Code "VAC" number, the individual unique regulations will be referred to by subject as well as the conventional OSHA numbering where a unique standard replaces an existing or previous Federal OSHA standard on the same subject.

For example, 16 VAC 25-175 will be referred to simply as § 1926.650, or "Virginia Excavation Standard, Construction Industry."  The "VAC" number for each unique regulation is also listed, and, this "VAC" number is what will appear on any violation citation issued by VOSH.

Virginia Unique Standards List


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Virginia Department of Labor and Industry - Headquarters: Main Street Centre Bldg. 600 East Main Street, Suite 207, Richmond, Virginia 23219-4101
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