What is the relationship between CDC and OSHA?

Business owners need to follow many rules and regulations to help keep their employees safe. When looking into various workplace safety requirements, it is not at all uncommon to see references to the CDC and OSHA. Both of these are government agencies that have a lot to say about keeping people safe, but they are entirely separate. Understanding the relationship between the CDC and OSHA can help to see how processes are developed and learn what types of guidelines your business needs to follow.

What is the CDC?

The CDC is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. It is an agency within the Health and Human Service administration that is set up to help oversee and plan for diseases that pose a public health risk. While originally set up to focus specifically on contagious diseases, it is now responsible for any type of medical related threat to the country.

What is OSHA?

OSHA is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration and is within the Department of Labor. OSHA is tasked with making sure that workplaces operating within the country are safe for employees, customers, and the surrounding environments. Their scope includes making policies designed to help keep workplaces safe from medical threats, but it goes well beyond that. They are also responsible for ensuring employers provide proper safety equipment, training, and other steps to keep people safe while working.

How are These Agencies Related?

These agencies operate separately and are under different parts of the overall federal government. They do, however, work together when they have overlapping goals. The most common example for this is when the CDC discovers a public health risk, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, they will issue a series recommendations on how to keep everyone safe. OSHA will take those recommendations and create regulations that workplaces have to follow.


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