OSHA 101

What is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)?

OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor. The administrator for OSHA is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. OSHA’s administrator answers to the Secretary of Labor, who is a member of the cabinet of the President of the United States.

What is OSHA’s mission?

With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

Whom does OSHA’s mission cover?

The Occupational Safety and Health Act covers most private sector employees and their workers. The Federal OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910 for General Industry addresses working condition at Baylor University. Baylor’s Environmental Health and Safety Department is responsible for compliance with all aspects of the 1910 Standard as they apply to the university.

General Information Summary

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established in 1971. Since then, OSHA with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety. Fatality and injury rates have dropped markedly. Although accurate statistics were not kept at the time, it is estimated that in 1970 around 14,000 workers were killed on the job. That number fell to approximately 4,340 in 2009. At the same time, U.S. employment has almost doubled and now includes over 130 million workers at more than 7.2 million worksites. Since the passage of the OSH Act, the rate of reported serious workplace injuries and illnesses has declined from 11 per 100 workers in 1972 to 3.6 per 100 workers in 2009. OSHA safety and health standards have prevented countless work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.

Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses – 2015

There were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers in 2015, which occurred at a rate of 3.0 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The 2015 rate continues a pattern of declines that, apart from 2012, occurred annually for the last 13 years. Private industry employers reported nearly 48,000 fewer nonfatal injury and illness cases in 2015 compared to a year earlier, according to estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. Because of this decline, combined with an increase in reported hours worked, the total recordable cases incidence rate fell 0.2 cases per 100 full-time workers.

Baylor University employees average approximately 24 reportable injuries each year, with the majority of those involving slips, trips, and falls. A “reportable injury” is defined as an accident / incident that has taken place while at work by and employee that requires attention by a medical provider.