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 new regulations would crown the Secretary as a virtual safety czar. He would have power to decree what is safe and healthy in any private business. He could shut down a machine or an entire plant if he detects ‘imminent harm.’

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

[I]n striving to improve safety and healthful conditions in the workplace it is prudent—and it will be productive—to build upon the foundations of successful experiences of American industry working in partnership with State and private agencies. We seriously question whether certain of the measures embodied in the proposed legislation will not encumber rather than enhance progress in occupational safety and health.

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John O. Logan, Universal Oil Products Company and Retiring Chairman, Board of Directors, Manufacturing Chemists Association. Testimony, Senate Subcommittee on Labor and Public Welfare.

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.

The Act broadly authorizes the Secretary to grab any police powers in the occupational health and safety fields that are now held by states. State safety officials could be forced to report directly to the federal Secretary when he says so.

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