The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was formed by the United States Department of Labor to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths and to enforce rules to ensure that these standards are being held. According to the OSHA website, since its inception work-related deaths have been cut by 62% and work-related injuries by 42%.
What is OSHA?
The OSHA is an agency of the United States Department of Labor and is headed by a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor. OSHA was formed under the OSH Act of 1970, signed by President Richard M. Nixon.
OSHA’s basic aim is to provide healthy working conditions for the workers and to prevent and minimize on job injuries, illnesses, and deaths. OSHA employees inspectors, investigators, engineers, physicians, and other related personnel to assure that the safety standards set by OSHA are met and followed. (www.osha.gov/oshinfo/mission.html)
In the beginning, OSHA’s regulations were not accepted and there was considerable resistance as this was a new change and required investment to provide a safe and healthy working environment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics total recordable nonfatal injuries and illnesses were recorded at 4,002,700 and total fatal work-related injuries were recorded at 5,071(p) in 2008.
OSHA has made several regulations, some of these are mentioned below:
- Use of personal protective equipment like gloves, goggles, shields, and other protective equipment
- Safeguards to be provided to workers working in trenches and excavations.
- Air sampling when working in enclosed spaces
- The “right to know the standard” where employees are entitled to know about chemical products being used in the workplace.
- Guards to cover moving parts to not get hurt by them. (http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/index.html)
OSHA publishes brochures, fact sheets, guidance documents, pocket guides, posters, quick cards, and online quick takes to inform workers and employers about OSHA regulations.
- OSHA brochures cover several specialized topics.
- OSHA Fact Sheets provide information on hazards and their.
- OSHA also publishes detailed documents that provide details of health and safety issues.
- OSHA has booklets for employees to inform them of the hazards and the agency’s role and standards
- Posters for specific industries are also placed to provide guidance and information.
- QuickCards™ are compact cards providing basic health and safety information that can be referred to with ease.
- Also these publications are also available in Spanish because there is a significant number of Spanish workers in the USA. (http://www.osha.gov/pls/publications/publication.html)
The OSHA Directorate of Training and Education (DTE) is responsible for training and making sure the OSHA standards are implemented properly.
OSHA DTE has two major subdivisions:
- OSHA Training Institute (OTI)
- OSHA Training Institute Education Centers
The OTI provides instructions and education for job safety to the government and private sectors. Whereas the OSHA Training Institute Education Centers offer courses for government and private sector personnel.
The OSHA is an agency working under the United States Department of Labor to ensure the health of its workers is kept intact. Almost everybody working in the United States comes under the OSHA’s jurisdiction apart from some exceptions. OSHA makes the management and employees committed towards its goals to lower nonfatal and fatal injuries in the US workplace.
United States Department of Labor, OSHA (2009) Safety and Health Topics. Web.
United States Department of Labor, OSHA (2009) OSHA. Web.
United States Department of Labor, OSHA (2009) OSHA’s Mission Statement. Web.
United States Department of Labor, OSHA (2009) OSHA’s Statistics and Data. Web.
United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (2009) Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities. Web.
United States Department of Labor, OSHA (2009) OSHA Publications. Web.
United States Department of Labor, OSHA (2009) OSHA Directorate of Training and Education Training Resources. Web.
United States Department of Labor, OSHA (2009) Frequently Asked Questions. Web.