General industry can be broadly defined as any industry that falls under the OSHA Standard for General Industry, Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910. It is generally accepted that these places of business are static in nature and do not include agriculture, construction, and maritime industries.
Title 29 CFR 1910
Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1910 is broken down into 21 Subparts. Though these regulations were designed to cover the safety of general industry employees, they are cited in other Parts of Title 29 to address hazards in other industries.
General Industry vs. Construction
Title 29 CFR Part 1926 are regulations that cover construction. Construction is defined as the building, erecting, alternating, or repairing of structures to include painting and decorating. Under these regulations your company may have day-to-day operations that fall under the General Industry standards until you begin to renovate, repair or even decorate, then if the stricter rule is under 29 CFR 1926, it is considered construction work.
General Industry vs. Agriculture
Title 29 CFR 1928 has regulations that cover farm-related activities. Commonly this covers activities that have to do with plant and animal cultivation. Again there can be an overlap of regulations, such as when the processing of the plant or animals goes from the field to the market. Even on the farm there are General Industry Standards that apply by reference.
General Industry vs. Maritime
The Maritime Industry is broken down into three parts in the 29 CFR. 29 CFR 1915 is Occupational Safety and Health Standards for Shipyard Employment. 29 CFR 1917 covers Marine Terminals and 29 CFR 1918 covers Safety and Health Standards for Longshoring. Though these have specific standards for the trades they represent, the General Industry standards are cited heavily within the standards since so many of the same precautions pertain to the General Industry and these other industries.
There are specific industries that do not fit within the definition of any of the industries discussed so far. These Special Industries are covered under 29 CFR 1910 Subpart R. These industries include pulp, paper and paper mills (1910.261); textiles (1910.262); bakery equipment (1910.263); laundry machinery and operations (1910.264); sawmills (1910.265); logging operations (1910.266); telecommunications (1910.268); electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution (1910.269); and grain handling facilities (1910.272). Subpart T covers Special Diving Operations to cover all forms of work related to diving including dive instructors and guides.