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How to Cite OSHA Standard References


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created by Congress to enforce standards for safe and healthful working conditions in the workplace. These standards are cited as government documents when referenced in research papers, whether the document was obtained in print or online. The essential pieces of information to include in these citations are the organization’s name, regulation name and title number, date of publication and location of the source.

APA Style

In American Psychological Association style, write the full name of the organization, in this case, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, followed by the acronym in brackets. After the date in parentheses, write "Regulations" without the quotation marks followed by the regulation title in parentheses. If you looked up this source online, include the website URL after “Retrieved from.” If there was a digital object identifier, or DOI, assigned, you would replace the URL with “doi:” followed by the DOI number. If this reference came from a print source, use the “City: Location” format in place of “Retrieved from” and the URL. A References page citation of an OSHA document would follow the example:

Occupational Safety & Health Administration [OSHA]. (2012). Regulations (Standards-29 CFR 1910.1200). Retrieved from https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10099

For in-text citations, write: “(Occupational Safety & Health Administration [OSHA], 2012)" without the quotation marks on first reference; write “(OSHA, 2012)” without quotation marks in subsequent citations.

MLA Format

The citation in Modern Language Association format includes the same information as the APA citation, but it includes the exact title of the regulation in quotation marks. Writing “Web” followed by the date indicates that you obtained the regulation online. Write “Print” after the OSHA acronym and publication date to indicate the regulation was obtained from a print source. A Works Cited page reference in MLA format would follow the example:

Occupational Safety and Health Administration. “Toxic and Hazardous Substances.” U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (italicized). OSHA, 2012. Web. 21 July 2014. Use "(OSHA)" without the quotation marks as your in-text citation.

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Cara Batema is a musician, teacher and writer who specializes in early childhood, special needs and psychology. Since 2010, Batema has been an active writer in the fields of education, parenting, science and health. She holds a bachelor's degree in music therapy and creative writing.

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