The Department of Labor created OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – in 1970. Its mission is to…
“Ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.”
OSHA was created in response to the staggering figures related to lost production, wages, medical expenses, and disability compensation. Those numbers included:
- 14,000 worker deaths caused by job-related accidents
- 2 ½ million disabled workers
- 300,000 new cases of occupational diseases
Since the administration was created, worker fatality has fallen by over 50%. Also, work-related injury and illness saw significant reductions.
OSHA regulates and enforces federal laws covering many workplace activities. It also determines the standards that apply to every workplace, then sets the requirements that need to be followed.
Broad areas of workplace standards include…
- General Industry
Specific examples of OSHA’s involvement include standards for personal protective equipment (PPA) like safety glasses and hard hats. They also offer information on topics like hearing safety, heat safety, and fall prevention.
OSHA covers all United States’ employees and employers under Federal government authority either directly or through state programs. Self-employed and members of farm families are not included.
OSHA.gov provides information on training, state programs, small businesses, and construction. It also offers resources to help both employees and employers. Those resources include information on…
- Safety and Health Topics
- Training Requirements
- Frequently Cited Standards
- Compliance Directives
- Standard Interpretations
Also, the site offers information on current and long-term regulatory agendas and federal notices.
“Workplace fatalities have dramatically reduced, and the worker injury rate has also decreased significantly.”
Even with all the improvements to workplace safety, OSHA remains committed to worker safety and health because
“It’s every worker’s right.”