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Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Standards in Mexico

June 25, 2018

In Mexico, Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) is covered by Laws (Ley Federal del Trabajo), Regulations (Reglamento Federal de Seguridad, Higiene y Medio Ambiente de Trabajo), and NOMs (Norma Oficial Mexicana)

While similar to OSHA Standards in the U.S., Mexican OH&S standards vary based on the regulatory agency that has promulgated the regulations. Agencies regulating OH&S include the Secretaria del Trabajo y Previsicion Social (STPS), the Secretaria de Salud (SA) or Health Ministry, the Secretaria del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), Mexico’s EPA, and the Secretaria de Gobernacion, or Governance Ministry (SEGOB).

Secretaria del Trabajo y Prevision Social (STPS)

Most of the OH&S NOMs in Mexico have been developed by the Labor Ministry (STPS), which enforces 41 permanent NOMs plus a number of additional project-specific standards.

The STPS NOMs are categorized into several groups:

  • Safety (13 NOMs), Health (8 NOMs), and Organization and Personal Protective Equipment (6 NOMs) NOMs are compulsory in work situations that involve manufacturing, commercialization, transport and storage activities or services. These NOMs address the characteristics of work activities, including OH&S related to the raw materials, products and by-products handled, transported, processed or stored.
  • NOMs related to working in specific industries (8 NOMs), such as working with pesticides and fertilizers at agricultural facilities, forest exploitation, the operation and maintenance of railways, and construction and mining are also included.
  • STPS also oversees 6 NOMs that apply to manufacturing, commercialization, distribution, and use of fire protection equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE).

In general, the most common STPS NOMs that are applicable to most operations/work activities include:

  • NOM-002-STPS-2010 Safety Conditions to Prevent Fires
  • NOM-004-STPS-1999 Safety Devices for Equipment & Machinery
  • NOM-005-STPS-1998 Health & Safety Conditions in the Work Area
  • NOM-006-STPS-2014 Safety Conditions for Management of Raw Materials
  • NOM-010-STPS-2014 Air Quality in the Work Environment
  • NOM-011-STPS-2001 Noise Levels – H&S Conditions
  • NOM-017-STPS-2008 Personal Protective Equipment
  • NOM-018-STPS-2000 Identification of Risk Due to Hazardous Substances
  • NOM-020-STPS-2011 Regulations for Pressurized Vessels
  • NOM-025-STPS-2008 Illumination Conditions of the Working Environment
  • NOM-026-STPS-2008 Color Codes to Identify Liquids in Pipes
  • NOM-031-STPS-2011 Health & Safety Conditions in Construction

Secretaria de Salud (SA)

NOMs and regulations from the Health Ministry protect human health during the handling, use, and exposure to hazardous substances. SA establishes maximum permissible exposure limits to contaminants and develops drinking water standards.

Secretaria del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT)

SEMARNAT is responsible for determining types of activities that pose a high risk due to the presence of hazardous wastes and materials. SEMARNAT also approves required accident prevention programs for activities that pose a high environmental risk.

Secretaria de Gobernacion (SEGOB)

SEGOB or SG is responsible for providing regulations to ensure safety from a civil protection standpoint. Some SEGOB regulations match STPS NOMs regarding safety and health matters.

About Vertex Ingenieros Consultores, S. de R.L. de C.V. 

Vertex Ingenieros Consultores, S. de R.L. de C.V. has a dedicated staff of Project Managers and Technicians with several years of experience in Due Diligence, Environmental Impacts Analysis, Risk Studies, and Health & Safety Compliance, Studies, and Audits. We have worked on thousands of Due Diligence and EHS Compliance projects and have resources ready to help with Permitting and Compliance. Our services are often provided to Industrial Facilities and Financial Institutions.

For more information, please contact Oscar Ortega, H&S Manager at +52-81-1178-3302.


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