The Emergency Plan should meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.38 and state equivalents.

Does it mean "a requirement that is used as an equivalent one in a specific state"?

  • That is how I would interpret it.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Feb 9, 2019 at 22:53
  • State could also be a verb. As in, it's required to list other requirements that are similar. As it's written, it's ambiguous. Commented Feb 10, 2019 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


This can parse as:

(The Emergency Plan) should (meet the requirements of (29 CFR 1910.38) and (state equivalents))


(The Emergency Plan) should (meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.38) and (state equivalents).

The first meaning seems much more likely, but as "state equivalents" is acting in a different grammatical role in each, here's what they each mean.

In the first, "state equivalents" is a noun phrase. The plan must meet the requirements of "29 CFR 1910.38", and must meet the requirements of "state equivalents". This therefore means 'state' equivalents of 29 CFR 1910.38. 29 CFR 1910.38 is part of an OSHA regulation, setting out rules for emergency plans. It is thus a federal regulation. The quote, parsed this way, means that the Emergency Plan not only comply with the stated federal regulation, but also any requirements of state law that address the same topic as 29 CFR 1910.38. "State" here is a noun referring to the constituent parts of the United States that have been admitted as states of the union (as opposed to territories etc.).

In the second, "state equivalents" is a verb and object. The plan must "meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.38" and it must also "state equivalents". "State" here is a verb meaning to say something specifically. "State your intentions" is an instruction that the person so addressed should clearly say what their intentions are. "Equivalents" as a noun means things that are equivalent to some antecedent that should be clear from context.

Both some idea of how regulatory law in the USA works, and the fact that equivalents has no clear antecedent, suggests that the first meaning is intended.

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