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Regulatory Authority

By: Safeopedia Staff
| Last updated: September 27, 2021

What Does Regulatory Authority Mean?

A regulatory authority is an autonomous enforcing body created by the government to oversee and enforce regulations regarding occupational health and safety.

The role of the regulatory authority is to establish and strengthen safety standards and ensure consistent compliance with them.

Regulartory authorities are also known as regulatory bodies, regulatory agencies, or simply regulators.

Safeopedia Explains Regulatory Authority

The role of the regulatory body includes the imposition of requiremennts, conditions, restrictions, and standards for workplace activities, as well as enforcing and promoting compliance to them.

Although regulatory authorities cover a wide variety of professionals, not all professions are under the purview of a regulatory body. Certain professions remain self-regulated.

Responsibilities of Regulatory Authorities

Regulatory bodies are staffed by specialists who are versed in the complexities of regulations and how to best enforce them. Their responsibilities also include:

  • Drafting rules
  • Protecting consumers
  • Adjudicating dispiutes and controversies
  • Conducting hearings
  • Providing ordinary administrative services

Regulatory Agencies Categories

Regulatory agencies fall into three main categories, namely:

  • Independent regulatory commissions
  • Executive agencies
  • Government corporations

The independent regulatory commissions are the most important of the three and are relatively free from executive control. These include the ICC, SEC, FTC, and NRC. These agencies have a multimember board appointed by the President with the consent of the senate.

The executive agency such as the EPA lies within the executive branch and its administrators and top assistants are appointed by the President.

The government corporation is completely owned by the government and is created by statute for a specific purpose. The model is used when a project cannot be completed solely by private development due to the scope of duration and investment.

Some regulatory agencies in the United States include:

  • The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH)
  • The Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Occupational Safety Regulatory Authorities in Various Countries

  • The United States: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Australia: Work Safe
  • The United Kingdom: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Northern Ireland: The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland
  • Canada: Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety
  • European Union: Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limit Values
  • Norway: National Institute of Occupational Health
  • Sweden: Swedish Work Environment Authority
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