Occupational Safety and Health Act

Occupational Safety and Health Act

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act was enacted in 1970 to "assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women." The OSH Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at the federal level and provided that states could run their own safety and health programs as long as those programs were at least as effective as the federal program.  It also created the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, to review the agency’s regulations, and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to research necessary areas of focus.

Cry Wolf Quotes

[M]uch of the scientific data obtained by researchers to date is inconclusive….misplaced reliance on mere suspicions rather than proven data, or precipitous and emotional reaction to such incomplete information…could lead to major economic consequences.

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Jerome Heckman, general counsel of the Society of the Plastics Industry.

Our concern is that too many regulatory bodies are reacting to this need and that divergent or contradictory rules would be established which would in effect create chaos for the designers, builders and operators.

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Max Spencer, of the Continental Grain Company. Testimony. OSHA hearings.

I believe that Congress and the people must realize that if this bill…is passed, we are direct[ing] attention to less than 10 percent of the safety problems in the country….From my own personal experience and evaluation of available statistics, the basic cause (85% to 95%) of occupational injuries is some type of ‘people failure.’ Inadequate equipment or facilities accounts for a very small percent of the total injuries experienced….‘people failure’ cannot be eliminated by legislation.

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J. Sharpe Queener, Safety Director for Du Pont Co. and representative of the U.S Chamber of Commerce, Testimony, Senate Subcommittee on Labor and Public Welfare.

[The ergonomics standard is a] overbroad, overdrawn, bureaucratic mess.

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Sen. Mike Enzi (R., Wyo.), From Wall St. Journal.