Amid our day-to-day workload, driving toward delivery deadlines, ensuring our products meet your demanding requirements, and always searching for new ways to provide still more protection, we felt it would make sense to look back on the journey.
While our own journey began more than 40 years ago, it parallels the history of OSHA. Over that same timeframe, OSHA advanced safety across the country on so many levels that have truly made a difference in the workplace and for workers.
The mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is to assure the safety and health of America’s workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and healthy.
OSHA History Highlights
Here’s a quick snapshot of the key moments in OSHA history.
- 1968 - President Lyndon Johnson’s Labor Department proposed legislation to develop a federal regulatory program for workplace safety.
- 1970 - In December, President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
- 1971 - Just five months later, the first OSHA standards were issued for safety and health protection.
- 1972 - In May the OSHA Training Institute was established to train inspectors and inform the public. In June the first standard was issued to address asbestos, focused on protecting workers from lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma. In November, construction safety standards were issued.
- 1974 - The vinyl chloride standard was issued to address the dangers of liver cancer due to worker exposure along with 14 other cancer causing substances.
- 1977 - The Standards Deletion Project is launched to simplify or delete more than 1,000 safety standards. They changed more than 900 standards as a result.
- 1978 - The cotton dust standard was issued, protecting textile workers from “brown lung” or byssinosis. In addition, a lead standard is issued.
- 1980 - OSHA coverage is extended to federal workers.
- 1982 - The Voluntary Protection Program is established, recognizing workplaces with exemplary health and safety management systems.
- 1986 - Ground-fault circuit interrupter standard is issued to protect construction workers.
- 1987 - The benzene standard was issued, a toxic chemical that causes leukemia.
- 1989 - Excavation and trenching operations standard was strengthened to require shoring and escape ladders on construction projects.
- 1994 - Strengthened rules requiring protection for construction workers including safety harnesses and guardrails.
- 1996 - Construction scaffold safety standard was issued.
- 2001 - Steel erection standard was issued to protect construction workers.
- 2004 - The OSHA National Emergency Plan was issued, establishing agency policies during national emergencies.
- 2007 - OSHA confirms that employers must pay for required personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective gloves and earplugs.
- 2010 - Cranes and derricks standard issued, replacing a 40-year old rule.
- 2012 - Revises Hazard Communication Standard to protect workers from dangerous chemicals and to align standards with the United Nations' Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
- 2014 - Revised the 40-year-old construction standard for electric power generation, transmission, and distribution.
- 2016 - Updates its rule on general industry walking-working surfaces standards for using personal fall protection systems.
So many of these things we’ve come to accept as normal practice. Without looking back, we don’t realize how recently formal regulations were put in place to protect workers. Plus, it’s clearly a growing list of protections and not without revision when necessary to either improve protections or to streamline rules.
If you’re better at videos that blog posts, the UFCW has posted a couple of videos that you may find of interest. The first video was produced for the 40th Anniversary of OSHA in 2011. The second one, called “Can’t Take No More” was issued by OSHA in 1980 with narration by Studs Terkel. It chronicles the development of workplace safety. Both can be found on the United Food and Commercial Workers Safety and Health website.
Our Favorite OHSA Regulation
All of the OHSA regulations are designed to protect workers from hazards in the workplace. Our specialty is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). OHSA Regulation 1910.132 covers protective equipment for eyes, face, head, and extremities including protective clothing, respiratory devices, as well as protective shields and barriers. That protection needs to address exposure to mechanical, chemical, environmental, and radiological hazards or irritants. Note too that regulation 1910.132(h)(1) specifies that, with few exceptions, the employer needs to provide the required PPE at no cost to their employees.
We’ve Got You Covered
When it comes to personal protective equipment and complying with OSHA regulations, we’ve got you covered. Just like OSHA, we have over 40 years of experience protecting workers.
For more information about our products you can browse our website, request a catalog, find a distributor, or just give us a call at 800-955-6887.