Why Does OSHA Exist?

Why Does OSHA Exist?

Did you know that not quite so long ago, safety standards weren’t even in existence? It’s possible that your grandparents worked in terrible conditions and there wasn’t really anything they could do about it. 

For example, asbestos is one of those hazardous materials that we now know cause health problems for humans. Without the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) setting exposure limits in the 1970s, people would still be forced to work with and around asbesto, putting their health at risk on a daily basis. This could have caused them to keep becoming very ill and/or even die because of a material we knew to be dangerous.

Fortunately, OSHA was created and has been working ever since to make things safer and better for us all.

Before OSHA, There Were Problems

Before OSHA was created, working conditions were definitely lacking any standards that related to keeping employees safe. You can still see many movies and even plays that highlight the issues people suffered during those times.

When the industrial revolution began, companies were mostly worried about their bottom line and how to achieve the most money for the space they had available to them.

Asbestos is just one example of problems people faced, but there were many others. Companies were taking shortcuts as often as they could, and some would even ignore inspections and recommendations to save themselves money and time with little regard to their workers.

While things slowly improved over the years, problems unfortunately still existed and people were still not completely safe when they went to work, risking death or serious physical harm everyday.

A Short Timeline for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

It took the federal government until the 1970s to create laws to make better, safe, and healthful working conditions for the working men and women of America. Sometimes progress is slow.

On December 29, 1970, President Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, or the OSH Act. This was the starting point for the federal OSHA program as we know it today.

OSHA officially opened its doors on April 28, 1971. During its first ten years, OSHA issued the first safety standards for asbestos, lead, carcinogens, and cotton dust. Since that time, OSHA has enacted countless regulations and training programs, among other protections for workers nationwide.

Safety Is Not Just For Employees

While much of the focus has been on safety for workers, OSHA actually provides regulations for employers as well. This is to protect them from possibly overzealous employees that may be looking to take advantage.

By keeping your employees safe, employers also avoid costly lawsuits that can arise from not being in compliance with regulation.

When both employers and employees understand the responsibilities companies have to keep everyone safe, it’s a win-win situation. Employees avoid getting hurt or sick and employers avoid mistakes that can cost them more than just money.

Feeling Unsafe?

Many times, there are managers or supervisors that simply fail to keep up with standards. Because of this, OSHA actually publishes a list every year of the top 10 most frequently cited problems they find. 

Take a look at this list, and you can see the most common issues and make them a top priority. By looking each year, potential violations stay top of mind and don’t fall into the void of “things to do”.

For 2020, in the United States, the District of Columbia and other federally controlled territories, the most commonly found problem was lack of fall protection in the construction industry. It was followed by hazard communication standards generally, respiratory protection generally, general scaffolding requirements in the construction industry, and ladders in the construction industry.

Feeling unsafe in your work environment? Are you aware of occupational hazards that aren’t being taken care of? Do you feel the need for an OSHA inspection at your workplace? You can file a complaint with OSHA here.

AYS is OSHA Compliant

AYS strictly adheres to OSHA standards and we are also a proud member of the Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI). We hold our entire team to the highest standards when it comes to cleaning our restrooms.

We believe in the safety of our employees as well as our customers. 

When you’re ready to find out more about portable restrooms for your next special event, you can feel safe with At Your Service. 

We can provide you with a free, no-hassle quote for your family reunion, wedding, or music festival. We are experienced and our knowledgeable staff can help you with the different types of restrooms and other amenities you need.

Give us a call at 918-272-0568 or fill out our form and we’ll quickly get back to you with your complimentary quote.

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