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

Exercising such authority, of course, would require an enormous federal policing force, perhaps in the thousands. Already, employers, in their long-standing voluntary programs to make their plants safer, scratch hard for qualified safety experts. Labor Secretary W. Willard Wirtz blandly explained to Congressmen that getting people would be no drawback. He said he could staff his safety policing team with the hard-core unemployed. These presumably would then show up as federal ‘inspectors’ armed with power of life or death over your business.

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Chamber of Commerce magazine, Nation’s Business. April, 1968.

The [vinyl chloride standard would be the] tip of an enormous regulatory iceberg….If government allows workers to be exposed to the gas, some of them may die. If it eliminates all exposure a valuable industry may disappear.

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Paul H. Weaver, Fortune Magazine.

On Friday, June 23, the world ended for some U.S. textile firms.

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Textile World, July, 1978.

Under the [Democratic] bill, according to the [Chamber], ‘employers would be treated worse than criminals,’ and there would be ‘penalties on the innocent’

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The New York Times