Occupational Safety and Health Act Mandates Safe Workplaces (Great Events from History II: Ecology and the Environment Series)
Article abstract: The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) required employers to furnish their employees with workplaces that were safe from recognized life-threatening hazards and work-related diseases.
Summary of Event
Enacted with enthusiasm by a liberal Democratic Congress during the conservative Republican presidency of Richard Nixon on December 28, 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act became law on April 28, 1971. Its purpose was to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for approximately 57 million workers employed in businesses affecting interstate commerce at the time the act became effective. Immediate responsibility for ensuring compliance with the act’s provisions fell upon more than 4.1 million employers nationwide.
Establishment and enforcement of the act’s safety and health standards were charged to the U.S. secretary of labor. Standards were numerous and complex, covering more than eight hundred pages in the Code of Federal Regulations and numbering about forty-four hundred; twenty-one hundred of these regulations applied to all industries nationwide, including agriculture, and the remaining twenty-three hundred regulations applied specifically to the construction and maritime industries. State, local, and federal governments, although they represented major employers themselves, were exempted from the act.
Established federal standards such as...
(The entire section is 2057 words.)
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