What is the Occupational Safety and Health Act
In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Act is a law passed in 1970 to encourage safer working conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Act established the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to establish standards and conduct site inspections. In some areas of the country, an OSHA-approved state agency helps enforce workplace safety standards, which must be at least as stringent as federal guidelines.
BREAKDOWN OF THE OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
Legislation in 1970 gave the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration the power to create industry-specific directives. However, the law also included a “general duty” clause, which stipulates that an employer must provide an environment “free from recognized dangers which cause or are likely to cause death or serious injury to its employees”.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act applies to most private and public employers. Those not protected by law include the self-employed, workers on small family farms, and those working in an industry regulated by a separate federal agency.