by John Leeth, Nathan Hale
Mercatus Center
April 23, 2013
Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) to create a safer working environment. The Act created two federal agencies: the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which establishes and enforces workplace safety and health standards, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which researches the causes and remedies of occupational injuries and illnesses. OSHA is the fourth pillar of the US safety policy system, the others being the legal system, state workers’ compensation insurance programs, and the labor market. Since the OSH Act was passed, workplace fatalities have fallen substantially, but this decrease is a continuation of a trend that began long before 1970.

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