July 28, was OSHA’s 35th anniversary. The occasion was marked by an speech given to a gathering of OSHA employees by Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Secretary of Labor.
Here are some highlights of the speech
- Since its inception in 1971, OSHA has helped to cut occupational injury and illness rates by 40 percent while at the same time U.S. employment more than doubled, from 58 million workers to nearly 150 million workers.
- Since 2001, there has been a 18.4% drop in the number of workplace injuries and illnesses, 16.7% in the construction industry.
- The last three years has seen the lowest number of fatalities in the workplace since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting this data.
- OSHA currently has more than 70 Compliance Assistance Specialists in local offices to help employers, labor unions, trade or professional groups, government agencies, and educational institutions prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace.
- Strong commitment to enforcing safety standards has resulted in more than a 10 percent increase in citations for alleged violations over the past five years.
- OSHA currently has about 2220 employees of which 1100 are inspectors.
- Thirteen of the 2220 employees have been with OSHA since its inception.
The full text of the speech is available here.
In addition to the efforts by the government, we hope and would like to think that the safety training and regulatory compliance material that we, and companies like us, offer also help in making the workplace safer.