Occupational Safety and Health Act
It doesn’t matter where you work, whether it’s and office, a factory, or a construction site, you have to be safe. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH) of 1970 give employees the right to a safe workplace and free of known danger to themselves and others. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration are the body of the government that sets the standards of safety, provides training to employers and employees, and is responsible for the healthy and safety of the American workforce.
Although OSHA was passed by Congress in late 1970 and signed into law by President Nixon, it really started by many other acts before them. In 1893, Safety Appliance Act was to make sure that workers, especially in the railroad industry, had safety equipment to help cut down on the many, many deaths that were happening. In 1910, the Bureau of Mines was started to regulate and inspect mines because there were too many explosions and collapse causing many deaths. Most of this was caused after 362 coal miners were killed in Mononhah, West Virginia, which at the time was the nations largest mine disaster.
There was a time that states took control of factory safety themselves. In 1877, the state of Massachusetts passed the first factory inspection law. It required the guarding of belts, shafts, and gears. It also demanded protection of elevators and adequate fire exits. By 1890, nine more states adapted factory inspectors to keep the employees safe in the factory settings.
During World War II, industrial production took a sharp rise. With the emphasis on getting products out for the war effort took precedence over safety, union leaders were really concerned about their employees getting a fair wage. Inflation was on the rise during this time and safety took a back seat for the unions. After the war ended, the workplace accidents stayed inflated. Over 14,000 workers died each year during the war from workplace incident while another 2 million were severely hurt or harmed. Also during this time, there was a huge influx of companies starting to use harmful chemicals in their processes, which led to more injuries as well. The prolonged time of exposure to these harmful chemicals was not well understood by the employees and management, leading to many health issues.
In the 1960’s, environmental issues are starting to become a concern with our government. President Lyndon Johnson went to Congress with an aggressive bill of occupational health and safety. With help from the United State Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, this bill was opposed by the business world. Many union members, including the AFL-CIO, did nothing to fight for the legislation for they thought it would not help the average worker in the workplace. Because of the lack of support, the bill died in Congress.
However, in 1969 President Richard Nixon sent to Congress, two bills that...