Developing and Implementing Occupation and Safety laws

Occupation safety and health (OSH) involves anticipation, evaluation, and control of hazards arising from the workplace that can impair workers’ health. The OSH scope has evolved gradually and continually over the years due to social, political, technological, and economic transformation. Economy globalization has been perceived as the primary influence for the workplace changes and the scope of OSH (Friend & Kohn, 2018). The ongoing liberalization of trade, rapid technology, a shift in pattern employment, changes in work organization practices, varying employment patterns, structure, and life cycle of businesses can all lead to new types and patterns of hazard, exposure, and risk (Tamers et al., 2020). Additionally, the demographic transformation, population movement, and the pressures of the global environment and workplace movements affect how the occupation and safety laws are regulated, established, implemented, and altered.


The history of occupation and safety is dominated by legislation. The government has observed these challenges and attempted to solve them by enacting laws. In the 1960s, various legislation such as the Service Contract 1965, the Federal Coal and Mine, and Contract Workers and Safety Standards were developed to cater to workers (Friend & Kohn, 2018). However, these laws only applied to a limited audience. However, in 1970, the Occupation Safety and Health Act, a national law, ensured that workers could not choose between their lives and jobs. The law provides employees are protected from hazard that compromises their safety and health. The Act represents the most significant safety legislation in the US to date. The Act established the Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a national agency to enforce the Act by applying fines and penalties to employers violating the rules, standards, and guidelines (OSHA, 2020). The Act extends to all employers and employees, but its provisions do not apply to state or local government employees. Therefore, the agency cannot find another federal agency for failure to comply. OSH acts as the precedents to other safety and health laws.

The pace of developing, implementing, and altering the occupation safety and health laws in the US depends on the danger of workplace tragedy. Most of the previous national tragedies were unavoidable if the safety and measures were strictly followed. In collaboration with other related agencies, OSHA has to develop or alter laws to cater to the tragedies (Tamers et al., 2020). Other than safety measures, specific health problems associated with workplace hazards have had a vital role in developing modern safety and health measures. These health hazards contribute to public awareness of unhealthy working conditions leading to changes in legislation and better working procedures. While the majority of the safety and occupation hazards arise in the manufacturing sector, the laws apply to all economic sectors (Reese, 2018).

OSHA issues new or revised occupation safety and health hazard measures. The process involves various stages, including public engagement. OSHA begins standard-setting independently or responding to recommendations or petitions from other involved agencies (Friend & Kohn, 2018). These parties may include the Nationalonal Institute for Occupation Safety and Health, state and local governments, nationally recognized standard-producing entity and, labor representatives (Friend & Kohn, 2018). OSHA must publish a Request for Information (RFI) or Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking if it needs to develop new or revised standards. After a public hearing and close of comments, OSHA publishes the federal register that contains any standard or adopted laws and their effective date. The publication must also explain the standards and the reason for implementation.

In contrast to occupation and safety, health, which majorly focuses on workplace hazards, environmental laws, and regulation, seeks to prevent human injuries and illnesses on a much broader scale. Environmental health is concerned with all aspects of the natural and built environment that influences the health of individuals and the population in general. In 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created, consolidating prior programs into a single entity (Menell, 2019). The legislation during that period was concerned with first-generation pollutants. Consequentially, issues concerning acid rains, air quality, and air pollutants from firms’ activities were regulated. EPA is concerned with an aim to protect the environment and individuals from significant risks, conduct research, and enforce environmental regulations Menell, 2019). EPA functions are performed through standard settings and rulemaking, technical review, compliance inspection, investigation, and enforcement

The establishment, implementation, and altering of both the environmental laws and occupation and safety health laws are intended to ensure the safety and health of the public and the workforce through timely and effective laws. Nonetheless, unlike the singular nature of OSHA regulations, there are various environmental regulations (Zimmerman, 2020). One significant difference between the environmental and occupation and safety implementation is the potential for states to adopt and supplement the federal environmental laws (OSHA, 2020). Environmental rules can vary from state to state

The Occupation Safety and Health Act culminated in the past government response to workplace safety and health hazards and a precedent to other related laws after 1970. The constant alteration of the OSH laws and regulations are due to trade liberalization, rapid technology, a shift in pattern employment, practice changes, and different employment patterns that have led to safer working conditions. Safety tragedies and health concerns have led to the constant establishment and implementation of occupation safety and health laws and regulation. OSHA has a mandate to ensure workers’ safety and health concerns are observed.


Tamers, S. L., Streit, J., Pana‐Cryan, R., Ray, T., Syron, L., Flynn, M. A., … & Howard, J. (2020). Envisioning the future of work to safeguard the workforce’s safety, health, and well‐being: A perspective from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. American journal of industrial medicine63(12), 1065-1084.

OSHA. (2020). Occupation Safety and Health Administration

Reese, C. D. (2018). Occupational health and safety management: a practical approach. CRC press.

Friend, M. A., & Kohn, J. P. (2018). Fundamentals of occupational safety and health. Rowman & Littlefield.

Menell, P. S. (Ed.). (2019). Environmental law. Routledge.

Zimmerman, J. B. (2020). Environmental Science & Technology and the United States Environmental Protection Agency: A Core Partnership in the Environmental Research Community. Environmental Science & Technology54(23), 14775-14775.