Home > OSH Legislation > OSHA 1994 Trumps Other OSH Legislation

OSHA 1994 Trumps Other OSH Legislation

In the context of Occupational Safety and Health, the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 (OSHA 1994) takes precedence over all other laws. How can you be sure?

Section 2(2), 1994 states:

In the event of any conflict or inconsistency between the provisions of this Act and that of any other written law pertaining to occupational safety and health, the provisions of this Act shall prevail and the conflicting or inconsistent provisions of such other written law shall, to the extent of the conflict or inconsistency, be construed as superseded.

In simple English: when there’s a conflict among occupational safety and health laws, refer to the OSHA 1994.

Remember, this is only when there is a conflict over the same subject matter. If there is no conflict, the non-OSHA OSH law can still be used.

Does this prevalence include subsidiary legislations made by the Minister under OSHA like the Occupational Safety and Health (Use and Standards of Exposure to Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000?

The answer is: yes.

Consider the following situation which you can find in the Guidelines to OSHA 1994 (Click here to download):

Under the Factories and Machinery Act 1967, Factories and Machinery (Asbestos Process) Regulations 1986 and the Factories and Machinery (Mineral Dust) Regulations 1989, medical surveillance is to be conducted every two years. Whereas under the Occupational Safety and Health (Use and Standards of Exposure to Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000, they are to be carried out annually. Permissible exposure levels under the Factories and Machinery (Asbestos Process) Regulations 1986 and Factories and Machinery (Mineral Dust) Regulations 1989 differ from that under the Occupational Safety and Health (Use and Standards of Exposure to Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000. The Occupational Safety and Health (Use and Standards of Exposure to Chemicals Hazardous to Health) Regulations 2000 shall prevail in this case.

Even in the conflict between OSH regulations, a regulation made under OSHA 1994 trumps the rest.

Categories: OSH Legislation
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