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General Duty Clause

General Duty Clause

Definition

In the workplace, in the absence of a health or safety standard, the general duty clause at section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 delineates an employer's responsibilities. The clause mandates that each employer "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." A general duty clause violation occurs when a condition or activity in the workplace presents a hazard that could have been eliminated or materially reduced and is likely to cause death or serious physical harm to an employee.

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