OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a branch of the United States Department of Labor. This agency was created in 1970 under US President Richard Nixon, when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed. OSHA is headed by an appointed deputy assistant secretary of labor.
OSHA’s aim is to determine the proper conditions in different workplaces to ensure worker health and safety while on the job. Businesses must comply to these workplace condition guidelines, and failure to do so may result in a fine, or suspension of license to operate. OSHA laws covers most businesses, but it is more active in high risk environments like those that deal with heavy machinery or hazardous chemicals.
Some laws that have been implemented under OSHA include the ‘Hazard Communication’ or the ‘Workplace Right to Know’, where companies are required to disclose to employees all hazards that come with working on a job. Similarly, a buddy system for working in confined and enclosed space was also required by OSHA, such as in manholes, pits or tanks.
OSHA is also concerned with issues like record keeping, violence in the workplace, workplace security, child labor, and construction safety, among others.