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Osha. Essay

1708 words - 7 pages

OSHAHave you ever feared for your safety at work, chances are you haven't, but this wasn't the case up until the late sixties? The Nixon administration feared for the workingman especially in the booming of the modern American industrialism. Nixon was concerned that the workingman would be pushed aside and forgot about as machines took over, but he planned to prevent all that from happening with the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The purpose of this act was to prevent the times when the workingman was looked at as a tool that could be thrown around and disregarded as in the early part of the century.In order to understand the purpose of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, the history of industry in the United States must be examined. Before 1800 there was no industry in the U.S. Many families lived and worked on farms and were self-sufficient. It was not until the Industrial Revolution when this country began to feel the growth and impact of industry. The biggest change was the transition from manpower to machine power. This led to the creation of the factory, which brought along many hazards to its workers. Any injuries or deaths that occurred as result of the hazards were just figured as part of the process.Contrary to what some may believe, the government intended on protecting the employer in injury or death of employee situations. There were doctrines of Common law that were the only rules of the industrial community for almost a century. The three doctrines were the Fellow Servant Rule, Contributory Negligence, and the Assumption of Risk. The Fellow Servant Rule stated that the employer was not liable for injury to employee that resulted from negligence of a fellow employee. Contributory Negligence stated that the employer was not liable if the employee was injured due to his own negligence. Lastly, the Assumption of Risk doctrine said that the employer was not liable because the employee took the job with full knowledge of the risks and hazards involved.Near the end of the nineteenth century, industrial legislation was born regarding the safety in factories in the United States. Even when advancements were taken to help the employee more, the federal government shot them down. At first, the Workman's Compensation laws could not be enforced by states for they were seen as unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. After these small efforts to save the employee, the movements for more protection began to snowball. This effect led to the emergence of Federal Safety Legislation. Even though it may seem that appropriate action was being taken there was still a great problem. "Every year in this country, some 14,000 deaths can be attributed to work-related injuries or illnesses. Because of accidents or diseases sustained on the job, some 250 million man-days of labor are lost annually.On December 29, 1970 the 91st Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The Act itself states, An act to assure safe and healthful...

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