Monthly Archives: March 2019

A Short History of OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (referred to as OSHA) is an agency committed to help keep working men and women safe, no matter what job they do. From laying out standards for when hydraulic hammers and Stanley hydraulic breakers need to be inspected and retired to regulating when and how often employees are entitled to breaks, OSHA has created a robust series of safety regulations that most of us today see as standard day-to-day precautions.

A History of Dangerous Work Conditions
The need for OSHA dates back to the factories of the 1880s, which had little to no worker precautions. These factories were often designed with jumbles of cables, conveyor belts, gears, and other dangerous materials, which were operated by inexperienced workers, some of whom were as young as six years old.

These factories were full of tragedies, with employees regularly becoming brutally injured or even killed while on the job. Children often grew up with severe physical deformities that developed after spending twelve to fourteen hours a day working in the dimly-lit and soot-soaked factories. As the Progressive Era arrived and newspapers became more widely available, Americans began to gain a fuller understanding of just how dangerous the working world was and demanded changes to protect workers.

Instilling Safety and Protection for Employees
The history of OSHA begins in the year 1968, when President Lyndon Johnson proposed legislation that would develop a federal registry of workplace safety regulations that all employers would have to follow. In 1970, President Richard Nixon officially signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which created OSHA in the process. Just five months later, the first labor standards were introduced, and included regulations for the cotton industry to protect workers from “brown lung,” a disease caused by working with cotton plants in poorly ventilated conditions.

Since then, more and more safety standards and regulations have been introduced, including the elimination of cancer-causing materials in manufacturing plants, the elimination of child labor practices, and the institution of guardrails and harnesses in the construction industry.

Keeping workers safe isn’t just the government’s job — it’s the responsibility of every employer as well. If your employees are using old or outdated tools, you might be putting them at risk of a serious injury. Hydraulic Breaker Services offers new and certified refurbished hydraulic hammers and Indeco hydraulic breakers that you can depend on. Give us a call today at 800-940-8517 to learn more!

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