Chapter 1 Safety and Health Movement Then and Now
Major Topics • Developments before the Industrial Revolution. • Milestones in the safety movement. • Tragedies that have changed the safety movement. • Role of organized labor. • Development of accident prevention programs. • Development of Safety Organizations. • Safety and Health Movement Today.
Safety Versus Health • Safety is concerned with injury causing situations. Safety is concerned with hazards to humans that result from sudden severe conditions. • Health is concerned with disease causing conditions. Health deals with adverse reactions to prolonged exposure to dangerous but less intense hazards. • An overly stressed worker may be prone to unintentionally forget safety precautions and thus may cause an accident.
Causes of Improvement in Workplace Safety • Improvements in safety have been the result of pressure for legislation to promote safety and health, the steadily increasing cost associated with accidents and injuries, and the professionalization of safety as an occupation. • Improvements in the future are likely to come as a result of greater awareness of the cost effectiveness and resultant competitiveness gained from a safe and healthy workforce.
Code of Hammurabi • The Code of Hamurabi (Babylonian king in 2000 B.C.) contained clauses dealing with injuries, allowable fees for physicians, and monetary damages assessed against those who injured others. • “If a man had caused the loss of a gentleman’s eye, his own eye shall be caused to be lost.”
Development of the First Organized Safety Program • When the industrial sector began to grow in the United States hazardous working conditions were commonplace. • Factory inspection was introduced in Massachusetts in 1897. • In 1869 the Pennsylvania legislature passed a mine safety law that required two exits from all mines. • In 1892, the first recorded safety program was established in a Joliet, Illinois steel plant.
Federick Taylor’s Connection to the Safety Movement • Around 1900 Federick Taylor began studying efficiency in manufacturing. • His purpose was to identify the impact of various factors on efficiency, productivity, and profitability. • He drew the connection between lost personnel time and management policies and procedures. • This connection between safety and management represented a major step towards broad-based safety consciousness.
Development of the National Safety Council • The Association of Iron and Steel Electrical Engineers (AISEE) formed in the early 1900s, pressed for a national conference on safety. • As a result the first meeting of the Cooperative Safety Congress (CSC) took place in Milwaukee in 1912. • A year after the meeting of the CSC, the National Council of Industrial Safety was established in Chicago. • In 1915, this organization changed its name to National Safety Council (NSC). • NSC is now the premier safety organization in the United States.
Impact of Labor Shortages in World War II on the Safety Movement • From the end of World War I (1918) through the 1950s safety awareness grew steadily. • During this period industry in the United States arrived at two critical conclusions: (1) There is a definite connection between Quality and Safety. (2) Off-the-job accidents have a negative impact on productivity. • This became clear to manufacturers during World War II when call-up and deployment of troops had employers struggling to meet their labor needs. • For these employers, loss of a skilled worker due to injury or for any other reason created an excessive hardship.
Primary Reason behind the passage of the OSH Act • The 1960s saw the passage of a flurry of legislation promoting workplace safety. These laws applied to a limited audience of workers. • According to the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) more significant legislation was needed because the state legislated safety requirements only in specific industries had inadequate safety and health standards, and had inadequate budgets for enforcement. • In the late 1960s more than 14,000 employees were killed annually in connection with their jobs, and work injury rates were rising. • These were the primary reasons for the passage of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) of 1970. It represents the most significant legislation to date in the history of the safety movement.
How workplace tragedies have affected the Safety Movement • Safety and health tragedies in the workplace have greatly accelerated the pace of the safety movement in the United States. • Hawk’s Nest Tragedy: Workers spent as many as 10 hours per day breathing the dust created by drilling and blasting a passageway through a mountain located in the Hawk’s Nest region of West Virginia that had an unusually high silica content. Silicosis is a disease that normally takes 10 to 30 years to show up in exposed workers. At Hawk’s Nest workers began dying in as little time as a year. Approximately one million workers in the United States are still exposed to silica every year, and 250 people die annually from silicosis. Today administrative controls, engineering controls, and personal protective equipment are used to protect workers in a dusty environment. • Asbestos Menace: In 1964 Dr. Selikoff linked asbestos to lung cancer and respiratory diseases. It was found in homes, schools , offices, factories, ships and filter of cigarettes. In the 1970s and 1980s asbestos became a controlled material. • Bhopal Tragedy: In 1984 over 40 tons of Methyl isocyanate (MIC) and other lethal gases, including hydrogen cyanide leaked into the northern end of Bhopal killing over 3000 people. Union Carbide had to pay $470 million in compensatory damage. In the US it led to the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) of 1986.
Role of Organized Labor in Advancement of Safety Movement • Organized labor has played a crucial role in the development of the safety movement in the United States. • From the Industrial Revolution time, organized labor has fought for safer working conditions and appropriate compensation for workers injured on the job. • Many of the earliest developments in the safety movement were the result of long and hard-fought battles by organized labor.
Fellow Servant Rule, Contributory Negligence, and Assumption of Risk • The Fellow Servant Rule held that employers were not liable for workplace injuries that resulted from the negligence of other employees. • Contributory Negligence: If the actions of employees contributed to their own injuries, the employer was not held liable. • Assumption of Risk: People who accept a job assume the risks that go with it. • These employer biased laws were overturned in all states except in New Hampshire where the fellow servant rule still applies.
The three E’s of SafetyEngineering, Education, and Enforcement • The Engineering aspects of a safety program involve making design improvements to both product and process to decrease potential hazards. • The Education aspect of a safety program ensures that employees know how to work safely, why it is important to do so, and that safety is expected by management. • The Enforcement aspect of a safety program involves making sure that employees abide by safety policies, rules, regulations, practices and procedures. Supervisors and fellow employees play a key role in the enforcement aspect of modern safety programs.
Development of Safety Organizations • Fig 1-3, page 12: Organizations concerned with workplace safety – American Society of Safety Engineers, National Safety Council (NSC), … • Fig 1-4, page 13: Governmental Agencies concerned with workplace safety – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), …
Integrated Approach to Safety and Health • Learn more through sharing knowledge about health problems in the workplace, particularly those caused by toxic substances. • Provide a greater level of expertise in evaluating health and safety problems. • Provide a broad database that can be used to compare health and safety problems experienced by different companies in the same industry. • Encourage accident prevention. • Make employee health and safety a high priority. • OSHA reinforces the integrated approach by requiring companies to have a plan for doing at least the following: • 1. Providing appropriate medical treatment for injured or ill workers. • 2. Regularly examining workers who are exposed to toxic substances. • 3. Having a qualified first-aid person available during all working hours.
Modern Industrial Companies may include the following positions: • Industrial Hygiene Chemist and/or Engineer: Companies that use toxic substances periodically test the work environment. Dust levels, ventilation and noise levels are also monitored. Unsafe conditions or hazardous levels of exposure can be identified and corrected or preventive measures can be taken. • Radiation Control Specialist: Companies that use or produce radioactive material employ specialists to monitor radiation levels to which workers may be exposed, test workers for level of exposure, respond to radiation accidents, develop plans for handling radiation accidents, and implement decontamination procedures when necessary. • Industrial Safety Engineer or Manager: They are responsible for developing and carrying out the companiy’soverall health and safety program including accident prevention, accident investigation, and education and training. (Jobs with this one course) • The complexities of the modern workplace have made safety and health a growing profession.
Summary • A milestone in safety is the passage of OSHA in 1970. • Labor unions have worked to overturn anti labor laws inhibiting safety. • Health problems in the workplace include lung disease in miners, and lung cancer tied to asbestos. • The asbestos menace, and Bhopal disaster have changed the face of the safety movement. • Accident prevention techniques include fail safe designs, lockout, PPE, redundancy and timed replacements. • A leading safety organization is the American Society of Safety Engineers. • A safety team may include a safety engineer, nurse, and dietician.
Home Work • Do questions 1, 8, 10 and 11 on pages 16-17 and turn it in next week. • 1. To what causes can improvement in workplace safety made to date be attributed? • 8. Explain the primary reasons behind the passage of the OSH Act. • 10. Define the following terms: fellow servant rule, contributory negligence, and assumption of risk. • 11. Explain the three E’s of Safety.