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Introduction to OSHA and the Act. MODULE 3. The Need for Legislation. Workplace injuries and illnesses increasing throughout the 1960s Need for more comprehensive and uniform protection of nation’s workers Size of national workforce increasing

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the need for legislation
The Need for Legislation
  • Workplace injuries and illnesses increasing throughout the 1960s
  • Need for more comprehensive and uniform protection of nation’s workers
  • Size of national workforce increasing
  • Congressional hearings on worker safety were held
the need for legislation3
The Need for Legislation
  • In 1970, Congress considered these figures:
  • 14,000 worker deaths
  • 2.5 million workers disabled
  • 300,000 new occupational disease cases
public law 91 596 enacted
Public Law 91-596 Enacted
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act signed by President Nixon on December 29th 1970
  • Effective April 29, 1971
public law 91 596
Public Law 91-596
  • Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, also called:
    • OSHA Act
    • OSH Act
  • 34 sections
  • Amended
    • 1990
    • 1998
    • 2001
purpose of the act
Purpose of the Act
  • ". . . to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources."
three agencies established
Three Agencies Established
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC)
section 2 osha s purpose
Section 2 - OSHA’S Purpose
  • Reduce workplace hazards;
  • Implement new or improve existing safety and health programs;
  • Provide for research in solving occupational safety and health problems
section 2 osha s purpose9
Section 2 - OSHA’S Purpose
  • Establish employer and employee responsibilities for safety and health conditions.
  • Build on employer/employee safety and health initiatives.
  • Focus on occupational health to prevent diseases occurring in the work environment.
section 2 osha s purpose10
Section 2 - OSHA’S Purpose
  • Establish training programs to increase the number and competence of occupational safety and health personnel;
  • Develop mandatory job safety and health standards and enforce them effectively;
  • Develop recordkeeping and reporting requirements;
section 2 osha s purpose11
Section 2 - OSHA’S Purpose
  • Provide for the development, analysis, evaluation and approval of state occupational safety and health programs.
section 3 definitions
Section 3 - Definitions
  • As defined by the Act, an employer is any "person engaged in a business affecting commerce who has employees, but does not include the United States or any State or political subdivision of a State."
section 4 the act s coverage
Section 4 - The Act’s Coverage
  • Coverage of the Act extends to all 50 states, and the District of Columbia
  • Includes all territories under Federal jurisdiction
  • Coverage provided either directly by federal OSHA or through an OSHA-approved state program.
  • Replaces some previously established federal laws.
section 4 the act s coverage14




Section 4 - The Act’s Coverage
not covered
Not Covered
  • Self-employed persons (incl. homeowners);
  • Farms on which only immediate members of the farm employer's family are employed;
  • Working conditions regulated by other federal agencies under other federal statutes. *

* If they have safety and health rules and execute authority over their rules

federal agency coverage examples
Federal Agency Coverage-Examples
  • Federal Railroad Administration (FRA):
    • OSHA covers facilities
    • FRA covers tracks, trains, etc..
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA):
    • OSHA covers to the tarmac
    • FAA covers past the tarmac
section 5 duties
Section 5 - Duties
  • (a) Each employer -
    • (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees
    • (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.
  • 5(a)(1) Known as General Duty Clause
general duty clause
General Duty Clause
  • Applies where OSHA has not passed specific standards
  • Employer must protect employees from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious harm:
    • Industry and consensus standards
    • Common safe practices
    • Hazards recognized by similar employers
    • Manufacturer requirements or manuals
section 5 duties19
Section 5 - Duties
  • (b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to the Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.
provisions for federal employees
Provisions for Federal Employees
  • Federal agency heads responsible for providing safe and healthful working conditions for their employees.
  • Act requires agencies to comply with standards consistent with those OSHA issues.
provisions for federal employees21
Provisions for Federal Employees
  • No OSHA $$$ penalties levied against another federal agency for failure to comply with OSHA standards (Exception: U.S. Postal Service; enacted 1998).
  • Compliance issues at federal agencies are resolved internally to that agency
  • Federal agency safety responsibilities are described in Section 19 of the Act.
provisions for state local governments
Provisions for State & Local Governments
  • OSHA provisions do not apply to state and local governments
  • States desiring to gain OSHA approval for a private sector occupational safety and health program must provide a program that also covers state and local government workers.
provisions for state local governments23
Provisions for State & Local Governments
  • State plans may also cover only public sector employees (city, municipal, state)
  • Twenty-three states and territories operate plans covering both the public and private sectors.
  • Three states – CT, NJ, and NY - operate public employee only plans.




section 6 occupational safety and health standards
Section 6 - Occupational Safety and Health Standards
  • Secretary of Labor, for first two years after Act’s promulgation, could adopt any established Federal or consensus standard which would result in improved employee safety and health
  • It is the responsibility of the employer to become familiar with standards that apply to their establishments
section 6 occupational safety and health standards25
Section 6 - Occupational Safety and Health Standards
  • (6)(a) OSHA given authority to promulgate start-up standards without rulemaking
  • (6)(b) Rulemaking procedure
  • (6)(c) Emergency temporary standards
  • (6)(d) Variances
section 7 advisory committees administration
Section 7 - Advisory Committees; Administration
  • 7(a)(1) Establishes National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health
  • “The Committee shall advise, consult with, and make recommendations to the Secretary…”
  • NACOSH meets at least twice per year
section 8 inspections investigations recordkeeping
Section 8 - Inspections, Investigations & Recordkeeping
  • 8(a) OSHA representatives are authorized to:

(1) enter without delay

(2) inspect during regular working hours and at reasonable times and to question privately employers and employees

  • 8(b) OSHA has subpoena power
  • 8(c) OSHA requires recordkeeping
  • 8(f) Employees right of complaint
section 9 citations
Section 9 - Citations
  • 9(a) If an employer violates Section 5 of Act or any standard, rule or order related to Section 6, a citation may be issued. Each citation will:
    • Be in writing
    • Describe the particular violation
    • Set a reasonable abatement period
  • 9(b) Posting of citations
  • 9(c) Time limit - 6 months to issue citation
section 10 enforcement
Section 10 - Enforcement
  • 10(a) Employer’s right of contest
    • Citations can be contested up to the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC), an independent quasi-judicial branch of the Department of Labor
  • 10(c) Employee’s right of contest of abatement dates
section 11 judicial review
Section 11 - Judicial Review
  • 11(a) Appeals & review of Commission order
  • 11(c) Prohibits discrimination against employees filing complaints under OSHA, or for disclosing safety and health issues concerning the workplace
section 12 occupational safety health review commission
Section 12 - Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission
  • Establishes membership and terms of Review Commission (OSHRC)
  • OSHRC acts independently of OSHA
section 13 procedures to counteract imminent dangers
Section 13 - Procedures to Counteract Imminent Dangers
  • Allows OSHA to petition for (obtain) a restraining order in cases of Imminent Danger.
  • U.S. District Court issues
  • Area Director requests through Solicitor of Labor
  • OSHA will:
    • Advise employer of imminent danger
    • Advise employees of rights
    • Petition District Court for relief
section 17 penalties
Section 17 - Penalties
  • Penalties were increased in 1990
  • Willful & repeated violations to a maximum of $70,000
  • Minimum $5,000 willful
  • Serious & other than serious to $7,000
  • Failure to abate to a maximum of $7,000 for each day violation continues (up to 30 day max.)
section 18 state plans
Section 18 - State Plans
  • States may regulate anything OSHA does not
  • State plans must be approved by OSHA to regulate anything OSHA does
  • Must be at least as effective as federal standards
section 18 state plans35
Section 18 - State Plans
  • Approved state plans can receive funding up to 90% of budget
  • Penalty proceeds collected via state programs remain in that state
section 19 federal agency programs responsibilities
Section 19* - Federal Agency Programs & Responsibilities
  • Federal agencies (exception: Post Office) are required to establish their own safety and health programs consistent with OSHA.
    • Require the use of safety equipment & PPE as necessary to protect employees
    • Keep accident and illness records
    • Establish rules consistent with OSHA

*Executive Order 12196 further defines the responsibilities of Federal Agencies.

section 20 research and related activities
Section 20 - Research and Related Activities
  • Most OSHA research is carried out by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), under Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
  • Secretary of HHS confers with Secretary of Labor and conducts research on occupational safety and health problems
section 21 training and employee education
Section 21 - Training and Employee Education
  • Training and education responsibilities are shared by the Department of Labor (DOL) and HHS
  • Training is authorized directly or through grants
section 22 national institute for occupational safety and health
Section 22 - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • Establishes NIOSH as a part of HHS
section 24 statistics
Section 24 - Statistics
  • DOL is authorized to collect and analyze statistics of occupational fatalities, injuries, and illnesses.
  • Data is collected and compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
historic progress
Historic Progress
  • A total of 5,915 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2000,
  • A decline of about 58% percent from 1970, according to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.