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

The prevention of job injuries requires an intimate knowledge of conditions and a close working relationship between management, labor and Government. The states, because of their familiarity with local programs, can plan safety programs for local areas more effectively than can be done through a national program administered from Washington D.C.

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William Naumann, Chairman of the Legislative Committee for the Associated General Contractors of America, Testimony, Senate Subcommittee on Labor and Public Welfare.

In many of the major industries the programs in occupational safety and health are successful, are well advanced, and have been developed to the point where the important remaining problem is human failure.

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Leo Teplow, vice-president and lead lobbyist for American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), testimony, Senate Subcommittee hearings on Labor and Public Welfare.

[OSHA has] substantially overstated the risks of fires, explosions and other hazards…the costs of the rule greatly exceed the benefits.

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The Office of Management and Budget. The Miami Herald.

Far more could be accomplished by concentrating on motivation and other human factors than on mechanical or chemical factors. There is only a partial, indirect relationship between the enforcement of standards and the promotion of effective occupational safety and health programs.

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Wayne T. Brooks Director of Industrial Relations, American Iron and Steel Institute, testimony, Select Subcommittee on Labor.