The Skinny on the Occupational Safety and Health ActBy Kenton Koszdin on October 25, 2018 | In Workers Compensation News
Before the Occupational Safety and Health Act, workers were afforded little to no protection from potential hazards in the workplace. The law was the culmination of efforts dating back to before the American Civil War. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 governs federal law that deals with occupational health and safety in both the private sector and federal government.
President Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law on December 29, 1970. Under the law, employers are expected to provide a working environment that is safe for employees. The scope of the Occupational Safety and Health Act is broad, covering hazards including but not limited to exposure to chemicals, mechanical dangers, slips and falls, burns, and excessive noise levels.
As a result of the act, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) were created to provide workers with additional safety guarantees and support under the law. The former is tasked with enforcing workplace safety laws, providing training, delivering education, and much more. The latter provides similar support to help prevent workplace related injury and illness.
As technologies and innovations are created, current workplaces are forced to adapt and new kinds of workplace hazards are created. The scope of the Occupational Safety and Health Act is such that any evolution of the workplace is always subject to the law. That means employers are obligated to provide a safe and healthy environment regardless of the nature of the business and the potential hazards.
As the law itself cannot provide employers in ever changing environments the support they need, it is the job of OSHA and NIOSH to provide training and education on health and safety in any particular type of workplace. This is a huge undertaking which involves the full cooperation of employers in order to succeed.
Due to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers have been making concerted efforts to ensure that the workplace is free of hazards that could injure or result in ill health among employees. Employees benefit from health and safety training that reduces the risk of injury while on the job. If an employer has not put adequate health and safety measures in place, including the provision of training, an employee may claim workers’ or personal injury compensation due to an injury at work.
Employers also greatly benefit from the Occupational Safety and Health Act. By ensuring that working environments are safe and healthy, employers will see a reduction in workers’ compensation claims, fewer faulty products leaving the business, reduced costs for back-to-work programs resulting from workers returning after injury, and lower costs for workplace adjustments for injured employees among other things.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act may directly or indirectly support your claim for workers’ compensation or disability benefits. To find out how, take advantage of a free consultation with the expert legal team from the Kenton Koszdin Law Office. Reach out today to speak to one of our friendly representatives.