Occupational Safety and Health Act

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    History

    • Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), 29 CFR 1926, in December 1970, establishing the administration with the same acronym. This act was then amended in 2004.

    Function

    • Designed to help regulate interstate commerce, this act set rules, regulations and standards across the country for workers and employers to follow. These safety rules cover all different areas of work and tools, including areas of work like construction and maritime work and tools like ladders and power tool upkeep.

    Benefits

    • This act made sweeping transformation to the way workplaces were handled. Benefits of setting these guidelines included decreased work accidents and deaths; Increased productivity due to lack of accidents; and lowering of medical bills and insurance bills.

    Features

    • When passed, the act set up an administration to oversee and enforce the guidelines that Congress passed. It can levee fines and administer work stoppages when there are violations.

    Considerations

    • As an employer, there is a litany of regulations to be followed (see Resources). It is important to stay within regulation to avoid fines. As an employee, be weary of dangerous situations not only for yourself but for other coworkers. As an employee, you may also be responsible for OSHA compliance (depending on job duties).

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