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Safety Of Work In The Usa & Great Brittian

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Autor:   •  May 14, 2011  •  3,845 Words (16 Pages)  •  390 Views

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UNITED STATES

Within the United States safety of work issues exist just as they do in my other countries around the world. In the United States the major governing body that overseas the administration and regulation of workplaces acts and situations is the Department of Labor. Within the Department of Labor there are several agencies and offices that handle various issues, such as the (OSHA) Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the (BLS) Bureau of Labor and Statistics, and the (OWCP) Office of Workers' Compensation Programs.

Department of Labor

The Department of Labor was established in 1913 by the signing of a legislative bill by President William Howard Taft "to foster, promote and develop the welfare of working people, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment"(DOL 2007f). The creation of this department lead to it becoming the governing authority for many agencies within the federal government, many of which deal and have dealt with worker safety issues.

Occupational Health and Safety Administration

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration otherwise known as OSHA, was created on April 28, 1971 by the Department of Labor after the establishment of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (DOL 2007g). The primary purpose for the creation of this agency was to administer the newly created Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The Act was created to protect workers from harm on the job and also created a federal program that would protect almost the entire workforce from job related death, illness, and injury (DOL 2007g).

Bureau of Labor and Statistics

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics which is also governed by the Department of Labor helps in the effort to ensure employee safety by collecting statistics for the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (DOL, 2001a). Two of the most important sets of statistics that the Bureau of Labor and Statistics collects that aid the Occupational Health and Safety Administration are workplace injuries and illnesses and occupational injuries and illnesses (DOL, 2001a). The statistics are reported to the bureau by employers themselves in records that they are required to maintain (DOL, 2001a). Injuries and illnesses that will be used in these statistics include death, loss of consciousness, days away from work, restricted work activity, and medical treatment beyond first aid treatment (DOL, 2005b). The use of these statistics reported to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics are to aid in the prevention of workplace injuries by periodically checking these numbers to determine where injury is occurring and try to prevent it.

Office of Workers' Compensation Programs

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, otherwise known as OWCP, is also an agency office of the Department of Labor. The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs operates four programs for federal workers that are aimed at reducing human, social, and financial impact of injuries sustained while working (DOL, 2007c). Also this plan provides compensation in the form of wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation to federal workers who are injured at work (DOL, 2007c). Also it should be noted that those employees working for private employers, state or local governments other than the federal government are also entitled to workers' compensation benefits, but they are handled at the state level with each individual state operating its own department of workers' compensation (DOL, 2007c).

OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT OF 1970

The Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed by congress in 1970 (DOL, 2007e). The passage of this Act lead to the creation of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which became the administering agency to regulate this Act (DOL, 2007e).

Who Is Covered

The Occupational Safety and Health Act almost all employers and employees in the 50 United States, including the United States Postal Service, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and all other United States territories (DOL, 2007e). The Act covers employees in many occupational fields such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture, law, medicine, charity, disaster relief, organized labor, and private education (DOL, 2007e).

Those not covered

The Occupational Safety and Health Act covers most employees, but not all. The Act does not cover those who are self employed, farms employing only immediate family members of the farmer, or those working in industries that have safety regulations for workers enforced by another federal agency, these include jobs such as mining, nuclear energy creation and nuclear weapons manufacturing (DOL, 2007e). Also, those working for the federal government are not covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, they are covered through a separate program that also includes state and local government employees that work in states with OSHA approved plans (DOL, 2007e).

Regulatory Functions

The passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act placed two main requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, those being to set standards and conduct inspections of employers to see that they are providing workers with a safe and healthy workplace (DOL, 2007e). Typically the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will set standards that will aim to eliminate work hazards (DOL, 2007e). These standards usually require that an employer change or enact new practices, means, methods, or processes to protect workers on the job (DOL, 2007e). Often to achieve these new standards employers will need to provide workers with training on the new regulations or with personal protective equipment such as protective glasses, gloves, face shields, steel toed boots, and/or protective head gear (DOL, 2007e).

Reporting

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires that employers with at least 10 employees or more covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, not including low hazard industries such as retail, insurance, real estate, finance, and some service sectors, maintain three different types of work related injuries and illness records a Form 300, Form 300A, and Form 301 (DOL, 2007e). Also, all employers regardless of industry or amount of employees must report any fatalities caused by work related injuries or the hospitalization of three or more employees to the

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