News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Commemorates 50 Years Of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 With “Protecting the American Workforce” Campaign

Yearlong Efforts will Highlight OSHA Past Achievements, Current Efforts and Future Goals

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) with a yearlong celebration of past achievements, current efforts and future initiatives to protect the American workforce.

Signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 29, 1970, the OSH Act was created "to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women," laying the groundwork for the creation of OSHA the following spring. Following the establishment of the OSH Act, workplace fatalities were reduced approximately 65 percent.

"America's workplaces are safer and healthier thanks to the Occupational Safety and Health Act and the thousands of individuals at the Labor Department who have implemented the act over the last 50 years," U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said. "The OSH Act is a cornerstone of worker protection in our country, and thanks to OSHA's work, countless American workers have gotten home safely to their families each day."

"The creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration made real, demonstrable improvement in worker safety in the United States," said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor of Occupational Safety and Health Loren Sweatt. "OSHA looks to continue to reduce occupational hazards and improve worker health. I am proud of the agency's half century of accomplishments and look forward to working with everyone dedicated to the agency's mission."

From the adoption of the first national health standard, to the affirmation of the imminent danger provisions and whistleblower protection laws, to the creation of training institutes and education grants, OSHA remains focused on its mission to safeguard the health and safety of the American worker. Readers can also subscribe to OSHA's bi-monthly QuickTakes newsletter for the latest news and information regarding OSHA's efforts to protect the American workforce. 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.

Agency
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
Date
January 21, 2020
Release Number
20-0125-NAT
Contact: Simone Walter
Contact: Denisha Braxton
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