Four Decades of OSHA: the Results
History has taught us that quality, safety and productivity result from the setting of and adherence to high standards. Although OSHA has been a pain at times, the results on workplace safety speak for themselves. Their setting of high standards for workplace safety has resulted in a dramatic drop in worker injury and death. Their agency has also made a tremendous effort to not only create and enforce high standards of safety, but also to provide education and information to actually help companies in their efforts to create a safe and productive workplace.
Before OSHA we were faced with astronomical numbers of injury and death.
- In 1913 there were a recorded 23,000 industrial deaths among 38 million US workers (source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics)
- Between 1935 and 1960 there were over 400,000 workers killed in industrial related accidents in the US.
- In the 1960’s there was a 20% increase in reported workplace accidents.
In over four decades, OSHA along with many other advocates have accomplished:
- A decrease in worker deaths in America from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2015.
- A decline in worker injuries and illnesses from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.0 per 100 in 2015.
Much of the ground that has been made in workplace safety is a result of creation and enforcement of strict workplace safety. These standards are enforced through a consistent measure of inspections.
While there have been times that OSHA and it’s many regulations have seemed like a burden, and indeed they can be. No one can discredit the results. One of the most important tasks we take on as employers is the duty to bring all of our employees back safely to work, tomorrow.