Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “osha”

January 14, 1993

Jan 14

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues a Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard to prevent more than fifty deaths and 5,000 serious injuries annually for workers whose job requires them to work in confined spaces, such as underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines.

December 29, 1970

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After years of intensive lobbying by organized labor, President Richard Nixon signs the Occupational Safety & Health Act, creating the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), an agency of the Department of Labor. Speaking for the bill, Representative William A. Steiger said, “In the last 25 years, more than 400,000 Americans were killed by work-related accidents and disease, and close to 50 million more suffered disabling injuries on the job.”

June 23, 1978

June 23The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issues a cotton dust standard to protect 600,000 workers from byssinosis, also known as “brown lung.”

April 27, 1978

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A concrete cooling tower under construction at a power station at Willow Island, West Virginia, collapses. All of the 51 construction workers on the scaffolding fell to their deaths. OSHA and the contractor agreed to settle the case for $85,500 (or about $1,700 per dead worker); no criminal charges were ever filed. The final OSHA rule on concrete and masonry construction was not issued for another 10 years and improved scaffolding rules, not until 1990.

January 14, 1993

confined_space_trainingThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues a Permit-Required Confined Spaces Standard to prevent more than 50 deaths and 5,000 serious injuries annually for workers whose job requires them to work in confined spaces, such as underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, silos, process vessels, and pipelines.

December 31, 1987

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration adopts a grain handling facilities standard to protect 155,000 workers at nearly 24,000 grain elevators from the risk of fire and explosion from highly combustible grain dust.  [Photo:  A spark ignited the dust inside a 1.8 million pound capacity grain silo at the Robin Hood Flour Mill in Davenport, Iowa, causing a massive explosion in May 1975.]

August 30, 1996

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issues revised scaffold standards, “Safety Standards for Scaffolds Used in the Construction Industry.”  The new standards set performance-based criteria to protect workers from scaffold-related hazards, such as falls, falling objects, structural instability, electrocution, and overloading.

June 13, 1926

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Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union leader and labor activist Tony Mazzocchi is born in Brooklyn, NY.  Mazzocchi was an advocate for workers’ health and safety, pushing the passage in 1970 of Occupational Safety and Health Act, and a key voice in the “right to know” movement” in the 1980s.

April 28, 1971

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration — the main federal agency charged with the enforcement of workplace safety and health legislation — is formed.  April 28 is designated as Workers’ Memorial Day, an international day of remembrance for those workers killed, injured, or made sick on the job.

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