A Brief History of OSHA and Workplace Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for overseeing the safety of over 130 million workers. Without its guidelines in place, the average workplace would be rife with hazards and unsafe conditions.
OSHA has come a long way since it was first established. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the history of OSHA and how it contributes to workplace safety.
Let’s dive in.
What Is OSHA?
OSHA was founded in 1971, as part of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The OSHA act was passed in response to the high number of workplace fatalities at the time.
Before OSHA, workplace safety training was largely unregulated, and workplace hazards had a high potential to be serious or fatal. The further back you go, the more the threat workplace injuries were. This is simply due to the fact that they had not yet been notable medical advancements to help treat injuries.
What Does OSHA Do?
OSHA’s main responsibility is to ensure that workplace hazards are identified and addressed.
They achieve this through workplace inspections, safety guidelines, and training programs. In addition to workplace safety, OSHA also oversees environmental risk in the workplace. This includes hazards like chemical exposure and noise levels.
Put simply, the goal of this organization is to help make a workplace as safe as possible for everybody present. Proper workplace safety will go a long way, as you will maximize productivity and avoid legal complications.
How Does OSHA Enforce Its Rules?
OSHA is a regulatory agency, which means that it relies on compliance from employers to ensure workplace safety.
If an employer does not comply with OSHA’s rules, they can face fines and other penalties. OSHA also offers grants to help employers improve workplace safety.
These grants are available for expenses like training programs and safety equipment purchases.
What Are Some of the Most Common Workplace Hazards?
There are a variety of workplace hazards, but some of the most common ones include:
- Slips, trips, and falls
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Chemical burns
- Noise exposure
It’s worth noting that minimizing chemical hazards requires companies to take a handful of steps. Most importantly, employers should provide all workers access to safety data sheet (SDS) documentation.
This will give them essential information about storage, handling, etc. When it comes to SDS access, you should also establish it in multiple forms.
It’s not uncommon for business owners to have SDS forms both on-site and online. You can check out this resource to learn more.
The History of OSHA Can’t Be Ignored
Without proper knowledge of this organization and its guidelines, you run the risk of encountering fines and penalties.
More importantly, though, you risk placing your workers in danger. Keep this guide about the history of OSHA mind so that you can better understand the role it plays.
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