OSHA Related Links
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. Congress established the agency under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which President Richard M. Nixon signed into law on December 29, 1970. OSHA’s mission is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance”. The agency is also charged with enforcing a variety of whistle blower statutes and regulations. The agency is currently headed by Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels.
The OSH Act of 1970 covers most private sector employers and their workers. Some public sector employers and workers in the 50 states and certain territories are also covered. All employers in the United State must follow the statute and it’s general regulations. The so-called Genera Duty Clause insures that all workers are provided a safe and healthy place in which to work. Some states have enacted their own legislation that mandates further, more stringent compliance than the OSH Act details. Still other states have drawn up their own “state plan” that is presented and certified by the Department of Labor. The respective laws all work together to give guidance on specifics of industrial safety and the means for surveillance and monitoring of compliance. Various punitive consequences for non-compliance of the law is also defined.
In addition to standards put forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Congress further passed additional legislation in 1989 with the enactment of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. This is a United States federal law that protects federal whistleblowers who work for the government and report agency misconduct. The act assures that workers will not undergo retribution in any way if they testify to violations or infractions of safety laws set forth by U.S. law.
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