What is OSHA?

What is OSHA? Video Transcript

Chances are if you run a workplace, like a warehouse for instance, filled with occupational hazards, you’ve come across OSHA before as a means to keep your workers safe and healthy. But what is OSHA and has it been successful?

what is osha

If we were to sum it up in one key phrase, OSHA exists to make sure American workers work in conditions that are healthy and safe through a series of enforceable standards and training.

Formed in 1971, OSHA (or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is an agency in the United States Department of labor that was created to keep American workers safer on the job.

As part of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA can issue government regulations for American businesses to follow. Regulations can include requirements for personal protection equipment usage, workplace safety procedures, information access and limits on exposure to hazardous materials. OSHA also provides training materials to employers and workers to make them more knowledgeable on how to practice recognition, avoidance and prevention around the workplace.

OSHA is also responsible for enforcing the standards its sets by sending out inspectors that can levy fines on businesses that do not comply.

That all sounds great, right? But does it actually make a difference? I mean, what is OSHA’s impact on worker safety?

Well, in practice, OSHA regulations have contributed to a vastly improved workplace from a safety perspective. From 1970 to 2010, worker fatalities dropped more than 65% from 38 deaths per day to 13. Injuries and illnesses from working are down a similar rate over the same period, dropping 67% from 11 incidents per 100 workers to just 4 per 100 workers in 2010.

So there you have it, OSHA regulations have proven to be a great way to keep workers safe. Be sure to check out our guides to 5S, Ergonomics and stop by Premier Handling Solutions often for everything else related to running a safe and efficient warehouse.