What is Industrial Law?
Industrial Law relates to the laws governing industrial enterprises. These can include a wide range of legal topics, from employment laws to environmental concerns, contracts, industrial relations, and worker safety regulations. Industries vary widely and the policies for each is as unique as the business to which it relates.
Employment and Labor Issues
Employment and labor laws are relevant to any commercial enterprise, and industry is no exception. Indeed, industrialization led not only to the modern conveniences of our technological age, but also the rise of organized labor unions. Employment and labor issues in industrial enterprises are particularly important, given the often hazardous nature of the work.
Another major area of concern to industrial laws is accidents. Industrial workplaces vary widely depending on industry and purpose, from the clean rooms of high-tech manufacturing, to the often dangerous and noisy welding floors of heavy industry. Factories, warehouses, chemical plants, refineries, and many other facilities may also be considered industrial workplaces. Common industrial accidents include forklift accidents, falling objects, slips, trips, and falls, machinery or equipment injuries, explosions or blast injuries, and chemical burns or inhalation. Industrial accident injuries can often be more severe than other workplace injuries given the nature of the work. Indeed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that two out of every 1,000 industrial workers will lose their life from a workplace accident. As a result, personal injury laws are a major area of practice related to industrial laws.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) monitors workplace safety conditions, including in the industrial sector. According to OSHA, many of the top violations resulting in citations are given to industrial workplaces. Common problems include communication hazards, lack of respiratory protection, poor electrical design, inadequate or disabled machine guards, and improper or unlicensed use of powered industrial trucks.
Other Areas of Industrial Law
As with any business, there are numerous other areas of legal concern for those in the Industrial sector. These can include contracts, real estate questions, shipping and distribution, environmental concerns, and many others.
If you have questions about Industrial Law, feel free to review the materials below on this page. Additionally, for further assistance, you can contact an attorney by visiting our Law Firms page and finding a lawyer in your area.
Industrial Law - US
- Bureau of Industry and Security
BIS Mission: Advance U.S. national security, foreign policy, and economic objectives by ensuring an effective export control and treaty compliance system and promoting continued U.S. strategic technology leadership.
- DOL - Nature of the Industry
* With about 2.0 million civilian employees, the Federal Government, excluding the Postal Service, is the Nation's largest employer. * About 85 percent of Federal employees work outside the Washington, DC metropolitan area. * A substantial number of job openings will arise as many Federal workers are expected to retire over the next decade; competition is high during times of economic uncertainty, however, when workers seek the stability of Federal employment.
- OSHA - Industrial Safety Compliance
This page provides resources to help employers comply with and workers understand OSHA requirements and learn about OSHA’s cooperative programs. If you are in a state with an OSHA-approved State Program, you may be subject to different or additional requirements, and different or additional cooperative programs may be available to you.
- OSHA - Personal Protective Equipment Policies
Protective equipment, including personal protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, and protective shields and barriers, shall be provided, used, and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition wherever it is necessary by reason of hazards of processes or environment, chemical hazards, radiological hazards, or mechanical irritants encountered in a manner capable of causing injury or impairment in the function of any part of the body through absorption, inhalation or physical contact.
- The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA) was enacted by Congress in June 1933 and was one of the measures by which President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to assist the nation's economic recovery during the Great Depression. The passage of NIRA ushered in a unique experiment in U.S. economic history—the NIRA sanctioned, supported, and in some cases, enforced an alliance of industries.
Organizations Related to Industrial Law
- American National Standards Institute
As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.
- American Society for Testing and Materials
ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.
- National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the leading manufacturing association, representing manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Our mission is to be the voice of all manufacturing in the United States and inform policymakers about manufacturing’s vital role in the U.S. economy.
- North American Industry Classification System
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS, pronounced Nakes) was developed as the standard for use by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for the collection, analysis, and publication of statistical data related to the business economy of the U.S. NAICS was developed under the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and adopted in 1997 to replace the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system.
Publications Related to Industrial Law
- Business Types and Industries
Business.gov provides guides that are tailored to meet the needs of specific audiences and business types. The following resources provide information that help specialized audiences start their own businesses.
- Industrial and Labor Relations Review
Issued quarterly since October 1947, the Industrial and Labor Relations Review is interdisciplinary in scope and international in its coverage of work and employment issues. We define industrial relations to include a broad range of market, organizational, and institutional processes related to the world of work. Relevant topics include the organization of work, the nature of employment contracts, human resource management, employment relations, conflict management and dispute resolution, labor market dynamics and policies, labor and employment law, and employee attitudes and behaviors at work.
- U.S. Business and Industry Council
The U.S. Business and Industry Council is a national organization of business owners and executives dedicated to making the U.S. domestic economy the world's leading engine of economic growth. The USBIC Educational Foundation is its research arm. Only a robust national economy, balanced in capabilities and dynamic in operation, can provide the material base for an American society that is stable at home and secure in the world.
Articles on HG.org Related to Industrial Law
- U.S. Workers' Compensation Laws - Do They Really Protect Workers from Serious Work Accidents?Each year, over 4,500 workers are killed in this country. While the number has decreased since the 1970s, the annual number has remained steady for the last decade. Workers' compensation laws often fail to protect workers from serious work hazards. The exclusivity provision of workers' compensation laws in most states prevents injured workers from bringing lawsuits against their employers. This tends to create a situation in which employers often ignore critical safety regulations.
- OSHA's New Confined Space MandatesWorking in the construction industry is one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. Workers deal with a variety of hazards on a daily basis, including falls from elevated surfaces, getting hit with heavy equipment, motor vehicle collisions and electrical hazards.
- Three Injuries that Regularly Occur in Warehouse EnvironmentsOver 145,000 laborers across the U.S. work in warehouses, as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports. Sadly, about one in 20 of these workers will suffer injuries in a given year, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Due to the hazards present in most warehouses, the following serious injuries are especially common among these workers.
- Crush Injuries in the Workplace – Preventing Work AccidentsWork accidents often result in catastrophic injuries, such as crushed limbs. Understanding the most common work accident scenarios which result in crush injuries can help prevent these devastating injuries.
- Most Dangerous Industries for Workplace Injuries and DeathsEach year thousands of U.S. workers die and millions more are injured in workplace accidents. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 4,383 fatal work accidents and 3.7 million nonfatal work injuries in 2012.
- Tips for Staying Safe in the WorkplaceEmployers are legally obligated to provide a safe working environment for their employees.
- Help, I Was Injured by a Faulty Power Tool!Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are injured while using a power tool. Many of these injuries are self-inflicted and the result of inexperience or recklessness. Still, others are the result of a defectively designed or manufactured product. So, what should you do if you fall into the second category and have been injured by a faulty power tool?
- Illinois Industrial AccidentsIn Illinois, employers have a duty to their employees to provide a safe work environment that protects them for injury on the job. This is even more true where industrial equipment or manufacturing machines are in use. But, industrial workplaces like factories, energy plants and warehouses have a higher than average rate of injury and death for their workers.
- Injured Worker Did Not Have Requisite Causal Opinion From DoctorIn a recent 8th District decision, the Court affirmed summary judgment in favor of an employer who argued that records from claimant's treating physicians did not establish sufficient causal connection between diagnosis and workplace injury.
- OSHA Safety Standards for Vessels: Ship Fire SafetyThere are OSHA safety standards for vessels that employers must enforce to ensure ship fire safety. Violating standards could result in a Jones Act maritime claim.
- All Business and Industry Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Business and Industry including: agency and distributorship, agency law, business and industry, business formation, business law, commercial law, contracts, corporate governance, corporate law, e-commerce, food and beverages law, franchising, industrial and manufacturing, joint ventures, legal economics, marketing law, mergers and acquisitions, offshore services, privatization law, retail, shareholders rights and utilities.