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OSHA Commemorates 50 Years of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

OSHA announced on January 21st that they will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) with a year-long celebration of past achievements, current efforts, and future initiatives and goals to ensure the safety of the American workforce. Their 2020 celebration campaign is called Protecting the American Workforce.

The news release on this provided some interesting history on OSHA.  Did you know that the OSH Act was signed into law by President Nixon in December of 1970? Following the passage of the Act, OSHA was created in the spring of 1971. According to OSHA, the Act was created “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women.” Their statistics show that following the establishment of the OSH Act, workplace fatalities were reduced approximately 65 percent!

U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia commented that “America’s workplaces are safer and healthier thanks to the OSH Act and the thousands of individuals at the Labor Department who have implemented the Act over the last 50 years. The OSH Act is a cornerstone of worker protection in our country, and thanks to OSHA’s work, countless American workers have gotten home safely to their families each day.”

After 50 years OSHA remains focused on its mission to safeguard the health and safety of the American worker and continues to increase its efforts. In 2019, OSHA statistics show a significant increase in the number of inspections and a record amount of compliance assistance to further the mission of ensuring that employers provide workplaces free of hazards.

OSHA has a free online bi-monthly QuickTakes newsletter that provides updates on its efforts to protect the American workforce including enforcement actions, rulemaking, outreach activities, and compliance assistance. For additional information on the Protecting the American Workforce Campaign visit www.osha.gov or email [email protected].

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