Why and when was the Occupational Safety and Health Act passed? Describe some of the provisions in this Act. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 as the name implies, was passed in 1970 for employee safety reasons. The increasing number of workers being killed or injured as a result of their jobs, the impact it had on the economy at large, and the emotional and psychological trauma caused by these deaths (or injuries in some cases), was the main reason for the passage of this Act.
As a matter of fact, the implementation of this Act in the workplace would bring back safety consciousness and sanity to the workplace, the employees, and the organization at large. In summary, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was enacted “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women, by authorizing enforcement of the standards developed under the Act; by assisting and encouraging the states in their efforts to assure safe and healthful working conditions, by providing research, information, education, and training in the field of occupational safety and health; and for other purposes (http://osha. ov). Some provisions contained in the Act pertain to employers as well as employees, though more weight is placed on employer responsibility. Important to note is that the provisions of this law apply to every employer in every state or territory of the United States who is engaged in any business that affects interstate commerce (http://aede. osu. edu/resources). “The Osh Act charges employers with three main responsibilities: to furnish and maintain a healthful work environment, to keep records of occupational injuries and illnesses, and to comply with OSHA standards (http://aede. su. edu/resources). This in effect means that the employer (or organization) is charged with making sure that the work environment it subjects its employees to, is free of hazardous machinery or chemicals which could lead to serious injury or death, or in cases where they exist, take steps to eliminate or reduce to the barest minimum, the adverse effect on workers. Where there is an incidence of injury, illness or death related to working conditions or environment, employers with up to 8 or more employees are required by the OSH Act to record and keep such records.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provide a unified way by which these could be recorded; OSHA forms. With these records, employers have an idea as to the nature and causes of such incidences, and take actions to minimize or eliminate them where possible. The Act has the OSHA working with two other agencies; National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, identify and study cases relating to violation of the rules and subsequently penalize offenders.
This helps to deter organizations from putting off for later, safety and health standards required of them. The employee is not left out as well. “Each employee must comply with the safety and health standards. The employee must obey all rules, regulations and orders issued under the terms of the Act that pertain to conduct in the workplace”. (http://aede. osu. edu/resources). This helps to take some pressure off the employers, such as having to ensure employees abide by safety rules, since the employees are already bound by the Act to observe such safety rules.
However though, the employee does not receive penalties in form of fines as does the employer for non-compliance. “Each employee is required to participate in training and instruction as it relates to specific job assignments, and to use personal protective equipment provided”. (http://aede. osu. edu/resources). Such provisions in the Act have over the last three decades tremendously reduced the amount of occupational incidences and accidents, thus leading to a world class safety work zone all across the country. Bibliography http://osha. gov http://aede. osu. edu/resources