What is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) General Duty Clause?

Authors: John D. Surma and Collin G. Warren, Adams and Reese LLP

The General Duty Clause requires an employer to furnish each employee with a place of employment free from recognized hazards that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. OSHA will use the General Duty Clause to cite an employer for conditions where no specific regulation exists, but where, in its opinion, an employee may be injured or harmed by the condition. In short, OSHA expects each employer to remove or guard against all known hazards in the workplace and to fully implement the specific requirements of the OSH Act relative to the work being performed by the employer.