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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA ) is a large regulatory agency of the
United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government, responsible for occupational safety and health Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health ...
that originally had federal visitorial powers to inspect and examine workplaces. Congress established the agency under the
Occupational Safety and Health Act The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is a US labor law United States labor law sets the rights and duties for employees, labor unions, and employer Employment is a relationship between two parties, usually based on contract A c ...
(OSH Act), which President
Richard M. Nixon Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913April 22, 1994) was the 37th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president di ...

Richard M. Nixon
signed into law on December 29, 1970. OSHA's mission is to "assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance". The agency is also charged with enforcing a variety of
whistleblower A whistleblower (also written as whistle-blower or whistle blower) is a person, usually an employee, who exposes information or activity within a private, public, or government organization that is deemed illegal, illicit, unsafe, fraud, or abus ...

whistleblower
statutes and regulations. OSHA's workplace safety inspections have been shown to reduce injury rates and injury costs without adverse effects to employment, sales, credit ratings, or firm survival.


History

The
Bureau of Labor Standards The Bureau of Labor Standards was an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor from 1934 until 1971. It was the direct predecessor of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA ) i ...
in the Labor Department had covered some work safety issues since 1922. Economic boom and associated labor turnover during World War II worsened work safety in nearly all areas of the United States economy, but after 1945 accidents again declined as long-term forces reasserted themselves. In addition, after World War II new and powerful labor unions played an increasingly important role in worker safety. In the 1960s increasing economic expansion again led to rising injury rates, and the resulting political pressures led Congress to establish the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on April 28, 1971, the date that the Occupational Health and Safety Act became effective. The new agency incorporated much of what had been the Bureau of Labor Standards. George Guenther was appointed as the agency's first director. OSHA has run a number of training, compliance assistance, and '
health and safety recognition programs
'' throughout its history. The OSHA Training Institute, which trains government and private sector health and safety personnel, began in 1972. In 1978, the agency began a grantmaking program, now called the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, to train workers and employers in reducing workplace hazards. OSHA started the Voluntary Protection Programs in 1982, which allow employers to apply as "model workplaces" to achieve special designation if they meet certain requirements.


OSHA Act coverage

The OSHA Act covers most private sector employers and their workers, in addition to some public sector employers and workers in the 50 states and certain territories and jurisdictions under federal authority. Those jurisdictions include the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
, the
Virgin Islands The Virgin Islands ( es, Islas Vírgenes) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habita ...
,
American Samoa #REDIRECT American Samoa American Samoa ( sm, Amerika Sāmoa, ; also ' or ') is an unincorporated territory of the United States Under United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) ...

American Samoa
,
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States in the Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousa ...

Guam
,
Northern Mariana Islands The Northern Mariana Islands, officially the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI; ch, Sankattan Siha Na Islas Mariånas; cal, Commonwealth Téél Falúw kka Efáng llól Marianas), is an unincorporated territories of the Unit ...

Northern Mariana Islands
,
Wake Island Wake Island ( mh, Ānen Kio, translation=island of the Sida fallax, kio flower; also known as Wake Atoll) is a coral atoll in the western Pacific Ocean in the northeastern area of the Micronesia subregion, east of Guam, west of Honolulu, sou ...

Wake Island
,
Johnston Island Johnston Atoll, also known as Kalama Atoll to Native Hawaiians, is an unincorporated territory of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguou ...

Johnston Island
, and the
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Lands as defined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.


Private sector employers

The OSHA Act covers most private sector employers in all 50 states, the
District of Columbia ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
, and other U.S. jurisdictions—either directly through federal OSHA or through an OSHA approved state plan. State plans ar
OSHA-approved job safety and health programs
operated by individual states instead of federal OSHA. Federal OSHA approves and monitors all state plans and provides as much as fifty percent of the funding for each program. State-run safety and health programs are required to be at least as effective as the federal OSHA program. Following training providers are authorized by OSHA: OSHA Outreach Courses
OSHA Education School
etc The following 22 states or territories have OSHA-approved state programs:
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
,
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a U.S. state, state in the Southwestern United States, Southwestern region of the United States. It is also usually considered part of the Mountain States, Mountain states. It is th ...

Arizona
,
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
,
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
,
Indiana Indiana () is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern United States. It is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 38th-largest by area and the List of U.S. states and territories by population, 17th-most populous o ...

Indiana
,
Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wiscon ...

Iowa
,
Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ...
,
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic (United States), Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware ...

Maryland
,
Michigan Michigan () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Michigan
,
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Minnesota
,
Nevada Nevada (, ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

Nevada
,
New Mexico ) , population_demonym = New Mexican ( es, Neomexicano, Neomejicano, Nuevo Mexicano) , seat = Santa Fe , LargestCity = Albuquerque , LargestMetro = Greater Albuquerque , OfficialLang = None , Languages = English English usually refer ...

New Mexico
,
North Carolina North Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily news ...

North Carolina
,
Oregon Oregon () is a U.S. state, state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington (state), Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of it ...

Oregon
,
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico (; abbreviated PR; tnq, Boriken, ''Borinquen''), officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico ( es, link=yes, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, lit=Free Associated State of Puerto Rico) is a Caribbean island and Unincorporated ...

Puerto Rico
,
South Carolina South Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspap ...

South Carolina
,
Tennessee Tennessee (, ), officially the State of Tennessee, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The S ...

Tennessee
,
Utah Utah ( , ) is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its so ...

Utah
,
Vermont Vermont () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Vermont
,
Virginia Virginia (), officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), '' ...

Virginia
,
Washington Washington commonly refers to: * Washington (state), United States * Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States ** Federal government of the United States (metonym) ** Washington metropolitan area, the metropolitan area centered on Washingt ...
, and
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
. Federal OSHA provides coverage to certain workplaces specifically excluded from a state’s plan — for example, work in maritime industries or on military bases.


State and local governments

Workers at state and local government agencies are not covered by federal OSHA, but have OSH Act protections if they work in those states that have an OSHA-approved state program. OSH Act rules also permit states and territories to develop plans that cover only public sector (state and local government) workers. In these cases, private sector workers and employers remain under federal OSHA jurisdiction. Five additional states and one U.S. territory have OSHA approved state plans that cover public sector workers only:
Connecticut Connecticut () is the southernmost state in the New England region of the United States. As of the 2010 United States census, 2010 Census, it has the highest per-capita income, second-highest level of List of U.S. states and territories by H ...
,
Illinois Illinois ( ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Illinois
,
Maine Maine () is a U.S. state, state in the New England region of the United States, bordered by New Hampshire to the west; the Gulf of Maine to the southeast; and the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Qu ...

Maine
,
New Jersey New Jersey is a U.S. state, state in the Mid-Atlantic States, Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States, Northeastern regions of the United States. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York (state), New York; on the ea ...
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
, and the
Virgin Islands The Virgin Islands ( es, Islas Vírgenes) are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habita ...
.


Federal government agencies

OSHA’s protection applies to all federal agencies. Section 19 of the OSH Act makes federal agency heads responsible for providing safe and healthful working conditions for their workers. OSHA conducts inspections of federal facilities in response to workers’ reports of hazards and under programs that target high hazard federal workplaces. Federal agencies must have a safety and health program that meets the same standards as private employers. OSHA issues “virtual fines” to federal agencies – following an inspection where violations are found, OSHA issues a press release stating the size the fine would be if the federal agency were a private sector employer. Under a 1998 amendment, the OSHA Act covers the U.S. Postal Service the same as any private sector employer.


Not covered under the OSH Act

The OSH Act does not cover the self-employed, immediate family members of farm employers, or workplace hazards regulated by another federal agency (for example, the
Mine Safety and Health Administration The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) () is a large agency of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupationa ...
, the
Department of EnergyA Ministry of Energy or Department of Energy is a government department in some countries that typically oversees the production of fuel and electricity; in the United States, however, it manages nuclear weapons development and conducts energy-relate ...
, or
Coast Guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes ...
).


Rights and responsibilities under OSH Act law

Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. By law, employers must provide their workers with a workplace that does not have serious hazards and must follow all OSH Act safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct safety and health problems. The OSH Act further requires that employers must first try to eliminate or reduce hazards by making feasible changes in working conditions rather than relying on personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, or earplugs. Switching to safer chemicals, enclosing processes to trap harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to eliminate or reduce risks. Employers must also: * Inform workers about chemical hazards throug
training
labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets and other methods. * Provid
safety training
to workers in a language and vocabulary they can understand. * Keep accurat
records
of work-related injuries and illnesses. * Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling, required by some OSH Act standards. * Provide required
personal protective equipment Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabr ...
at no cost to workers. (Employers must pay for most types of required personal protective equipment.) * Provide hearing exams or other medical tests when required by OSH Act standards. * Post OSHA citations and annually post injury and illness summary data where workers can see them. * Notify OSHA within eight hours of a workplace fatality. Notify OSHA within 24 hours of all work-related inpatient hospitalizations. * Prominently display the official OSHA Job Safety and Health – It’s the Law poster that describes rights and responsibilities under the OSH Act. * Not retaliate or discriminate against workers for using their rights under the law, including their right to report a work-related injury or illness. Workers have the right to: * Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. * File a confidential complaint with OSHA to have their workplace inspected. * Receive information and '
training about hazards
'', methods to prevent harm, and the OSH Act standards that apply to their workplace. The training must be done in a language and vocabulary workers can understand. * Receive copies of records of work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in their workplace. * Receive copies of the results from tests and monitoring done to find and measure hazards in their workplace. * Receive copies of their workplace medical records. * Participate in an OSHA inspection and speak in private with the inspector. * File a complaint with OSHA if they have been retaliated or discriminated against by their employer as the result of requesting an inspection or using any of their other rights under the OSH Act. * File a complaint if punished or retaliated against for acting as a “whistleblower” under the 21 additional federal laws for which OSHA has jurisdiction. Temporary workers must be treated like permanent employees. Staffing agencies and host employers share a joint accountability over temporary workers. Both entities are therefore bound to comply with workplace health and safety requirements and to ensure worker safety and health. OSHA could hold both the host and temporary employers responsible for the violation of any condition.


Health and safety standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Act grant OSHA the authority to issue workplace health and safety regulations. These regulations include limits on hazardous chemical exposure, employee access to hazard information, requirements for the use of personal protective equipment, and requirements to prevent falls and hazards from operating dangerous equipment. The OSH Act's current Construction, General Industry, Maritime and Agriculture standards are designed to protect workers from a wide range of serious hazards. Examples of OSHA standards include requirements for employers to provide fall protection such as a safety harness/line or guardrails; prevent trenching cave-ins; prevent exposure to some infectious diseases; ensure the safety of workers who enter confined spaces; prevent exposure to harmful chemicals; put guards on dangerous machines; provide respirators or other safety equipment; and provide training for certain dangerous jobs in a language and vocabulary workers can understand. OSHA sets enforceable
permissible exposure limit The permissible exposure limit (PEL or OSHA PEL) is a legal Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and ...
s (PELs) to protect workers against the health effects of exposure to hazardous substances, including limits on the airborne concentrations of hazardous chemicals in the air. Most of OSHA’s PELs were issued shortly after adoption of the OSH Act in 1970. Attempts to issue more stringent PELs have been blocked by litigation from industry; thus, the vast majority of PELs have not been updated since 1971. The agency has issued non-binding, alternate occupational exposure limits that may better protect workers. Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act. This clause requires employers to keep their workplaces free of serious recognized hazards and is generally cited when no specific OSHA standard applies to the hazard. In its first year of operation, OSHA was permitted to adopt regulations based on guidelines set by certain standards organizations, such as the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, without going through all of the requirements of a typical rulemaking. OSHA is granted the authority to promulgate standards that prescribe the methods employers are legally required to follow to protect their workers from hazards. Before OSHA can issue a standard, it must go through a very extensive and lengthy process that includes substantial public engagement, notice and comment. The agency must show that a significant risk to workers exists and that there are feasible measures employers can take to protect their workers. In 2000, OSHA issued an ergonomics standard. In March 2001,
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...

Congress
voted to repeal the standard through the
Congressional Review ActThe Congressional Review Act (CRA) is a law that was enacted by the United States Congress under House Speaker Newt Gingrich as Subtitle E of the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 () and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on March ...
. The repeal, one of the first major pieces of legislation signed by President
George W. Bush George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the Un ...

George W. Bush
, is the first instance that Congress has successfully used the Congressional Review Act to block regulation. Since 2001, OSHA has issued the following standards: * 2002: Exit Routes
Emergency Action Plans
and Fire Prevention Plans * 2004: Commercial Diving Operations * 2004: Fire Protection in Shipyards * 2006: Occupational Exposure to '
Hexavalent Chromium
'' * 2006: Assigned Protection Factors for Respiratory Protection Equipment * 2007: Electrical Installation Standard * 2007: Personal Protective Equipment Payment (Clarification) * 2008: Vertical Tandem Lifts * 2010: Cranes and Derricks in Construction * 2010: General Working Conditions in Shipyards * 2012: GHS Update to the Hazard Communication Standard * 2014: New Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements for Employers * 2014: Revision to Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment * 2016: Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica * 2016: Update General Industry Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards


Enforcement

OSHA is responsible for enforcing its standards on regulated entities. Compliance Safety and Health Officers carry out inspections and assess fines for regulatory violations. Inspections are planned for worksites in particularly hazardous industries. Inspections can also be triggered by a workplace fatality, multiple hospitalizations, worker complaints, or referrals. OSHA is a small agency, given the size of its mission: with its state partners, OSHA has approximately 2,400 inspectors covering more than 8 million workplaces where 130 million workers are employed. In Fiscal Year 2012 (ending Sept. 30), OSHA and its state partners conducted more than 83,000 inspections of workplaces across the United States — just a fraction of the nation’s worksites. According to a report by
AFL–CIO The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL–CIO) is the largest federation of Labor unions in the United States, unions in the United States. It is made up of fifty-five national and international unions, toge ...
, it would take OSHA 129 years to inspect all workplaces under its jurisdiction. Enforcement plays an important part in OSHA’s efforts to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Inspections are initiated without advance notice, conducted using on-site or telephone and facsimile investigations, performed by trained compliance officers and scheduled based on the following priorities ighest to lowest imminent danger; catastrophes – fatalities or hospitalizations; worker complaints and referrals; targeted inspections – particular hazards, high injury rates; and follow-up inspections. Current workers or their representatives may file a complaint and ask OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe that there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA standards. Workers and their representatives have the right to ask for an inspection without OSHA telling their employer who filed the complaint. It is a violation of the OSH Act for an employer to fire, demote, transfer or in any way discriminate against a worker for filing a complaint or using other OSHA rights. When an inspector finds violations of OSHA standards or serious hazards, OSHA may issue citations and fines. A citation includes methods an employer may use to fix a problem and the date by which the corrective actions must be completed. OSHA’s fines are very low compared with other government agencies. They were raised for the first time since 1990 on Aug. 2, 2016 to comply with the 2015 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act passed by Congress to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. The new law directs agencies to adjust their penalties for inflation each year. The maximum OSHA fine for a serious violation is $13,653 (which can be assessed daily after a failure to "abate" the violation) and the maximum fine for a repeat or willful violation is $136,532. In determining the amount of the proposed penalty, OSHA must take into account the gravity of the alleged violation and the employer’s size of business, good faith, and history of previous violations. Employers have the right to contest any part of the citation, including whether a violation actually exists. Workers only have the right to challenge the deadline by which a problem must be resolved. Appeals of citations are heard by the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC). In 2020, the
COVID-19 Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease A contagious disease is a disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization o ...

COVID-19
pandemic caused about 1,300 workers and their families to contract the virus, with four deaths, at the
Smithfield Foods Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a pork producer and food-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly owned subsidiary A subsidiary, subsidiary company or daughter company is a company (law), company owned or ...
packing plant in
Sioux Falls, South Dakota Sioux Falls (; LakotaLakota may refer to: * Lakota people, a confederation of seven related Native American tribes *Lakota language Lakota (), also referred to as Lakhota, Teton or Teton Sioux, is a Siouan language spoken by the Lakota people ...
. The governor,
Kristi Noem Kristi Lynn Noem (; née__NOTOC__ A birth name is the name of the person given upon their birth. The term may be applied to the surname, the given name or to the entire name. Where births are required to be officially registered, the entire ...
, resisted initiating and enforcing measures to protect workers and the community. After COVID-19 outbreak kills 4, Smithfield meat plant in South Dakota fined $13,494
''
Kansas City Star ''The Kansas City Star'' is a newspaper based in Kansas City, Missouri. Published since 1880, the paper is the recipient of eight Pulitzer Prizes. ''The Star'' is most notable for its influence on the career of President Harry S. Truman and as ...
'', Chacour Koop, September 10, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
The plant was fined $13,494 - the maximum allowed at the time - by OSHA for what was considered a single violation. OSHA carries out its enforcement activities through its 10 regional offices and 90 area offices. OSHA’s regional offices are located in
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...

Boston
,
New York City New York, often called New York City to distinguish it from New York State New York is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of ...

New York City
,
Philadelphia Philadelphia (colloquially known simply as Philly) is the largest city in the Commonwealth A commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is ...

Philadelphia
,
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...

Atlanta
,
Chicago (''City in a Garden''); I Will , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive map of Chicago , coordinates = , coordinates_footnotes = , subdivision_type = Country , subdivision_name ...

Chicago
,
Dallas Dallas (), colloquially referred to as Big D, is a city in the U.S. state of Texas and the largest city in and County seat, seat of Dallas County, Texas, Dallas County, with portions extending into Collin County, Texas, Collin, Denton County, ...

Dallas
,
Kansas City The Kansas City metropolitan area is a bi-state metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area ...

Kansas City
,
Denver Denver () is a consolidated city and county, the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more forma ...

Denver
,
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
, and
Seattle Seattle ( ) is a seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front) ...

Seattle
.


Record keeping requirements

Tracking and investigating workplace injuries and illnesses play an important role in preventing future injuries and illnesses. Under OSHA’s Recordkeeping regulation, certain covered employers in high hazard industries are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses. This information is important for employers, workers and OSHA in evaluating the safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to reduce and eliminate hazards. Employers with more than ten employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must record serious work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300, 300A and 301. Recordkeeping forms, requirements and exemption information are at OSHA’s website.


Whistleblower protection

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 21 other statutes protecting workers who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, maritime and securities laws. Over the years, OSHA has been responsible for enforcing these laws that protect the rights of workers to speak up without fear of retaliation, regardless of the relationship of these laws to occupational safety and health matters.


Compliance assistance

] OSHA has developed several training, compliance assistance, and health and safety recognition programs throughout its history. The OSHA Training Institute, which trains government and private sector health and safety personnel, began in 1972. In 1978, the agency began a grant making program, now called the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, to train workers and employers in identifying and reducing workplace hazards. The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) recognize employers and workers in private industry and federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management programs and maintain injury and illness rates below the national average for their respective industries. In VPP, management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training, and management commitment and worker involvement. OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Each year, responding to requests from small employers looking to create or improve their safety and health management programs, OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program conducts over 29,000 visits to small business worksites covering over 1.5 million workers across the nation. On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management programs. Under the consultation program, certain exemplary employers may request participation in OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Eligibility for participation includes, but is not limited to, receiving a full-service, comprehensive consultation visit, correcting all identified hazards and developing an effective safety and health management program. Worksites that receive SHARP recognition are exempt from programmed inspections during the period that the SHARP certification is valid. OSHA also provides compliance assistance through its national and area offices. Through hundreds of publications in a variety of languages, website safety and health topics pages, and through compliance assistance staff OSHA provides information to employers and workers on specific hazards and OSHA rights and responsibilities.


Efficacy

A 2012 study in ''Science'' found that OSHA's random workplace safety inspections caused a "9.4% decline in injury rates" and a "26% reduction in injury cost" for the inspected firms. The study found "no evidence that these improvements came at the expense of employment, sales, credit ratings, or firm survival." A 2020 study in the '' The American Economic Review, American Economic Review'' found that the decision by the Obama administration to issue press releases that named and shamed facilities that violated OSHA safety and health regulations led other facilities to increase their compliance and to experience fewer workplace injuries. The study estimated that each press release had the same effect on compliance as 210 inspections. Much of the debate about OSHA regulations and enforcement policies revolves around the cost of regulations and enforcement, versus the actual benefit in reduced worker injury, illness and death. A 1995 study of several OSHA standards by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) found that OSHA relies "generally on methods that provide a credible basis for the determinations essential to rulemakings". Though it found that OSHA's finding and estimates are "subject to vigorous review and challenge", it stated that this is natural because "interested parties and experts involved in rulemakings have differing visions". OSHA has come under considerable criticism for the ineffectiveness of its penalties, particularly its criminal penalties. The maximum penalty is a misdemeanor with a maximum of 6-months in jail. In response to the criticism, OSHA, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, has pursued several high-profile criminal prosecutions for violations under the Act, and has announced a joint enforcement initiative between OSHA and the
United States Environmental Protection Agency The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an Independent agencies of the United States government, independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters. President Richard Nixon pro ...
(EPA) which has the ability to issue much higher fines than OSHA. Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats,
labor unions A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
and community safety and health advocates are attempting to revise the OSH Act to make it a felony with much higher penalties to commit a willful violation that results in the death of a worker. Some local prosecutors are charging company executives with
manslaughter Manslaughter is a common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black ...
and other felonies when
criminal negligence In criminal law Criminal law is the body of law that relates to crime. It proscribes conduct perceived as threatening, harmful, or otherwise endangering to the property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, ab ...
leads to the death of a worker. A ''New York Times'' investigation in 2003 showed that over the 20-year period from 1982 to 2002, 2,197 workers died in 1,242 incidents in which OSHA investigators concluded that employers had willfully violated workplace safety laws. In 93% of these fatality cases arising from wilful violation, OSHA made no referral to the U.S. Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.David Barstow
U.S. Rarely Seeks Charges For Deaths in Workplace
''New York Times'' (December 22, 2003).
The ''Times'' investigation found that OSHA had failed to pursue prosecution "even when employers had been cited before for the very same safety violation" and even in cases where multiple workers died. In interviews, current and former OSHA officials said that the low rates of criminal enforcement were the result of "a bureaucracy that works at every level to thwart criminal referrals. ... that fails to reward, and sometimes penalizes, those who push too hard for prosecution" and that " aggressive enforcement suffocated by endless layers of review. OSHA has also been criticized for taking too long to develop new regulations. For instance, speaking about OSHA under the
George W. Bush George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American politician and businessman who served as the 43rd president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the Un ...

George W. Bush
presidency on the specific issue of combustible dust explosions, Chemical Safety Board appointee Carolyn Merritt said: "The basic disappointment has been this attitude of no new regulation. They don't want industry to be pestered. In some instances, industry has to be pestered in order to comply."


Directors

The director of OSHA is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. * George Guenther (April 1971 - January 1973) * ''M. Chain Robbins (Acting, January 1973 - April 1973)'' * John Stender (April 1973 - July 1975) * ''Bert Concklin & Marshall Miller (Acting, July 1975 - December 1975)'' * Morton Corn, December 1975 - January 1977) * ''Bert Concklin (Acting, January 1977 - April 1977)'' * Eula Bingham, April 1977 - January 1981) * ''David Zeigler (Acting, January 1981 - March 1981)'' * Thorne G. Auchter, March 1981 - April 1984) * ''Patrick Tyson (Acting, April 1984 - July 1984)'' * Robert A. Rowland (Recess appointment; never confirmed, July 1984 - July 1985) * ''Patrick Tyson (Acting, July 1985 - May 1986)'' * John A. Pendergrass (May 1986 - March 1989) * ''Alan C. McMillan (Acting, April 1989 - October 1989)'' * Gerard F. Scannell (October 1989 - January 1992) * ''Dorothy L. Strunk (Acting, January 1992 - January 1993)'' * ''David Zeigler (Acting, January 1993 - November 1993)'' * Joseph A. Dear (November 1993 - January 1997) * ''Gregory R. Watchman (Acting, January 1997 - November 1997)'' * Charles N. Jeffress (November 1997 - January 2001) * ''R. Davis Layne (Acting, January 2001 - August 2001)'' * John L. Henshaw (August 2001 - December 2004) * ''Jonathan L. Snare (Acting, January 2005 - April 2006)'' * Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. (April 2006 - November 2008) * ''Thomas M. Stohler (Acting, November 2008 – January 2009)'' * ''Donald Shalhoub (Acting, January 2009 - April 2009)'' * ''Jordan Barab (Acting, April 2009 - December 2009)'' *
David MichaelsDavid Michaels may refer to: *David Michaels (author), a pseudonym for the authors of novels in the ''Splinter Cell'', ''EndWar'', ''H.A.W.X'', and ''Ghost Recon'' series *David Michaels (epidemiologist) (born 1954), American epidemiologist and OSHA ...
(December 2009 - January 2017) * ''Loren Sweatt (Acting, September 2017 - November 2017; February 2018 - May 2019)'' * ''James Frederick (Acting, April 2021 - November 2021)'' * Douglas L. Parker (November 2021 - present)


See also

*
Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations CFR Title 29 - Labor is one of fifty titles comprising the United States ''Code of Federal Regulations The ''Code of Federal Regulations'' (''CFR'') is the codification of the general and permanent regulations published in the ''Federal Register' ...
*
American Society of Safety Engineers American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), formerly known as American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) until June 2018, is a global organization of more than 37,000 occupational safety and health Occupational safety and health (OSH), ...

American Society of Safety Engineers
*
Construction site safety Construction site safety is an aspect of construction-related activities concerned with protecting construction site workers and others from death, injury, disease or other health-related risks. Construction is an often hazardous, predominantly la ...
*
Ergonomics Human factors and ergonomics (commonly referred to as human factors) is the application of psychological and physiological principles to the engineering and design of products, processes, and systems. The goal of human factors is to reduce human ...
* Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association *
Mine Safety and Health Administration The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) () is a large agency of the United States Department of Labor The United States Department of Labor (DOL) is a cabinet-level department of the U.S. federal government responsible for occupationa ...
(MSHA) * MIOSHA *
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH, ) is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury Injury, also known as physical ...
(NIOSH) *
National Safety Council The National Safety Council (NSC) is a 501(c)(3) A 501(c)(3) organization is a corporation, trust, unincorporated association, or other type of organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of Title 26 of the United State ...

National Safety Council
*
Occupational safety and health Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health, or occupational safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety Safety is the state of being "safe ...
*
Occupational fatality An occupational fatality is a death that occurs while a person is at work or performing work related tasks. Occupational fatalities are also commonly called “occupational deaths” or “work-related deaths/fatalities” and can occur in any in ...
* Oregon OSHA *
Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) is perhaps the most comprehensive effort by the U.S. federal government to balance the social goals of federal regulations with the needs and capabilities of small businesses and other small entities in American ...
* U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board


References


Department of Labor Budget in Brief, FY2013


External links

* *
OSHA - Current 29 CFR Books in Digital Format
*
OSHA - List of Highly Hazardous Chemicals

OSHA
in the ''Federal Register'' * Occupational Safety and Health Act, as amended, i
PDFHTMLdetails
in the United States Government Publishing Office, GPO]
Statute Compilations collection

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
* {{DEFAULTSORT:Occupational Safety And Health Administration Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 1970 establishments in the United States Government agencies established in 1970 Safety codes United States Department of Labor agencies Industrial and organizational psychology