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OSHA As Administrative Agency, Its Purpose And Functions

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Safety and health are some of the biggest worries among humans. They are some of the factors that strive us to keep prospering. There are many different worries among humans regarding health, and safety. Normally, we tell others to drive safe, and want them to make healthy lifelong decisions. We normally think of just daily activities, travelling, staying active, and things of that nature. Our workplace is seldom thought of when it comes to safety and health in our everyday lives. There have been many different accidents, and life changing injuries and even deaths that have occurred in the workplace. There have been incidents from asbestos, to collapsing buildings. These things should not be taken lightly. OSHA was created to cut these incidents and injuries down to a minimum.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) was created for the purpose of keeping employers, workers, staff, and any other persons in the workplace safe and healthy. OSHA uses three basic strategies, authorized by the “Occupational Safety and Health Act”, to help employers and employees reduce injuries, illnesses, and deaths on the job: Strong, fair, and effective enforcement; education, and compliance assistance; and Partnerships, Alliances and other cooperative and voluntary programs.” (United States Department of Labor) President Lyndon B. Johnson proposed the legislation of OSHA and it was later put into effect under President Nixon. Although, there were some failed attempts at reducing the hazards, injuries and deaths in the workplace, President Richard Nixon finally passed the law (Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA’s mission is: “With the “Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970′, Congress created the “Occupational Safety and Health Administration” (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” (United States Department of Labor) Richard Nixon, The President started many acts which have led to the full creation of “OSHA”. In December of 1970, Nixon signed into the act of “Williams-Steiger “Occupational Safety and Health Act”, which gave the Federal Government the authority to set and enforce safety and health standards for most of the country’s workers.” (United States Department of Labor) OSHA was created ultimately created because of the rising injuries and deaths of workers from the ‘60s and increased until the regulations and laws put a cease to the mistreatment of workers.

“OSHA” has grown over the course of 50 years. They have a larger workforce in the modern day, which with then unemployment rate at an all-time low. With there being the larger workforce and a higher population of worker, “OSHA” must increase their inspectors, and rules and regulations. “OSHA” has a whopping 7 million worksites that are in their jurisdiction, and they have 6 different priorities when it is time for an inspection. “1. Imminent danger situations: these are problems in the workplace that can cause death or a major physical or mental harm. Those are the top priority. 2. Severe injury and Illness: work related fatalities must be reported in 8 hours of the incident. Any other related injuries are allowed 24 hours of injury. 3. Worker complaints: if there are any allegations of hazards or violations, they will be a high priority and employees can request that their allegations can be anonymous when they are filed. 4. Referrals: of hazards from other agencies are allowed inspections. 5. Targeted inspections: if these inspections are aimed at industry with a high hazard, and they have high rate of injury or illness, they are a high priority. 6. Follow up inspections: checks for the change of any flaws or hazards in the workplace.”(United States Department of Labor) OSHA is divided into four main categories: general industry, construction, maritime, and agriculture. “Out of 4,779 worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2018, 1,008 or 21.1% were in construction — that is, one in five worker deaths last year were in construction. The leading causes of private sector worker deaths (excluding highway collisions) in the construction industry were falls, followed by struck by object, electrocution, and caught-in/between” (United States Department of Justice) These four categories put am emphasis on the jurisdiction of OSHA. General Industry are jurisdictions that are not agricultural, maritime, or construction. They are things such as stores, shops, restaurants, etc. “Slips, trips, and falls on slippery floors back and arm strain from lifting heavy trays and boxes burns from hot serving ware and cooking equipment cuts during food preparation.” ( Webstaraunt Store)

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Construction is one of the broader categories in “OSHA’s” jurisdiction. Construction needs a broad perspective because of the lengths and heights that they work through on an everyday basis. . They go through extended hours of heat, harmful equipment, and height hazards. Maritime deals with those at sea. “The guide sheets reflect 42 actual “OSHA” case file summaries of workplace incidents in which longshoring workers were killed while performing their jobs. The guide sheets are divided into three major categories: vehicular accidents, falls/drowning, and material handling accidents. The most frequent cause of longshoring fatalities were accidents in which employees were struck by or run over by vehicles such as trucks, front-end loaders, or forklifts. The next most frequent causes of death were by falling or drowning. The remaining fatalities occurred while employees were performing a variety of cargo and material handling activities involving improperly loaded forklifts, unstable cargo that toppled over, and working below improperly secured loads that fell from cranes.” (United States Department of Labor) Marine Biologists, Lead Divers, and Marine Archaeologists all deal with the marine life, and the scary hazards that are out at sea. Agriculture is also very important to think about when it comes to the safety of the farmers, harvesters, etc. They encounter deadly and harmful chemicals in their everyday lives. The scary side of agriculture is also the heavy farm equipment, the accessories with the tractors, harvesters, combines, and even the gins. These four categories put into perspective the strengths and care of our workers. They do not put a category in to a lesser category than another. They all are just as important as any other job.

Surprisingly, there are some myths that small businesses that do not have to abide by “OSHA” regulations. “Businesses that are exempt from “OSHA” regulations are those that have less than 10 workers”. “Businesses that have more than 10 workers are exempt from some inspection.” Those inspections are categorized as “low hazard industries. (Huffington Post). There was a dispute that there were some small businesses that did not have to abide by “OSHA’s” regulations. That sounds accurate, but all businesses must abide by regulations. “The short answer is, unless you are a small farming operation, “OSHA” does have jurisdiction in almost every circumstance. There are some partial exemptions and exclusions from certain types of OSHA activity, such as maintaining Injury & Illness Recordkeeping logs and forms, and from certain types of inspections or citations, but those limitations rarely apply and really offer too little relief to small employers to be meaningful.” (Becker) “OSHA” can stop in at any given time to see if there are any violations. It can be an expected visit or an unexpected visit. There are numerous statistics that have shown the benefits of what “OSHA” does. Here are some for example: “Since OSHA’s creation in 1970, the nation has made substantial progress in occupational safety and health. “OSHA and its many partners in the public and private sectors have for example: Cut the work-related fatality rate to historic lows for 2002 to 2004; From 2003 to 2004, reduced the number of workplace injuries and illnesses by 4 percent and lost workday case rates dropped by 5.8 percent in that same period; Virtually eliminated brown lung disease in the textile industry; In 2005, OSHA conducted close to 39,000 inspections and issued just over 85,000 citations for violations; In 2004, the Consultation Program made over 31,000 visits to employers.” (United States Department of Labor) Those statistics show the great impact that “OSHA” has done for American businesses.

Furthermore, “OSHA” has helped society tremendously over their creation since 1970. There will always be incidents, injuries, and deaths in the workplace, but “OSHA” has cut a vast majority of these issues to a minimum. The history, the progression, and the effect that “OSHA” has accomplished is amazing. The agency puts safety and health as the top priority, and we should also. Think about your loved ones and yourself when it comes down to the safety of our workers. “OSHA” has done many positive things for the workers in America. They are always increasing their regulations to accommodate the expansion of the workforce and workplace. They have impacted the safety and health of all the workers. There are some individuals that take “OSHA” lightly, but I strongly agree with their standards and regulations. They allow us to have a low hazard workplace, to be free of health hazards, work injuries, and be free of injuries. “OSHA” is one of the most helpful administrative agencies in the modern day, and it is up to our generation to keep it strong.

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OSHA As Administrative Agency, Its Purpose And Functions. (2021, September 23). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from
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