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  • Heather Cummings

OSHA After 40 Years

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Late in 1970 President Richard M. Nixon signed the Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Act into law. In the four decades since the OSH Act was signed the Occupational Safety & Health Administration has fought to protected workers from hazards. The formation of OSHA has saved thousands of lives and created safer environments for employees across all industries.


The success of OSHA often goes unnoticed, since each year approximately 5,000 workers die; however, government figures estimate that if workers today faced the same risk as 70 years ago an additional 40,000 people would die each year. OSHA has drastically improved working conditions across industry and location. The number of private sector occupational injuries and illnesses dropped from 10.9% per 100 workers in 1970 to 3.9% in 2007.


While OSHA has numerous adversaries, including many conservatives and corporate leaders, it has undeniably saved lives. With the constant changes in business practices and manufacturing techniques, OSHA’s work is never done. Their small task force of 2,000 inspectors is responsible for protecting the 125 million workers in the United States. Employers must do their part to comply with OSHA regulations, and share some of the burden of protecting U.S employees.


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