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 at times, been a much-maligned agency, 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. Below are the results.

  • 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.
  • Although the workplace doubled in size between 1970 and 2009, worker deaths DECREASED from over 14,000 to about 4,400.
  • Reported workplace injuries and illnesses decreased from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to less than 4 incidents per 100 workers in 2010

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. Many standards called for requirements of employers to provide a wide variety of PPE’s (Personal Protective Equipment) not previously required by employers.

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.
Keep your forklift operators safe by using the proper safety equipment and providing reliable forklift operator training, by Apex Material Handling.
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