Human Factors and Workplace Safety

Organizations should thus, ensure a safe work environment, which protects employees from physical hazards, unhealthy situations and violence from other personal. This is important because employees are the Human Resources of an organization who contribute towards organizational success.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was passed in 1970 to assure so far as possible every working woman and man in the Nation safe and healthy working conditions and to preserve human resources. The Occupational Safety and Health Act in 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration within the Department of labour in U.S.A. The importance of such laws can be well documented by the statistical survey of Occupational hazards. In 2000, 5.7 million injuries were reported in private sector alone. 5,915 fatalities were reported in 2000 alone due to industrial injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Act laws cover all the employers and their employees except a few federal governments, or states or political sub-divisions of a state. However, even in such cases, each federal agency is required to establish a Safety and Health program monitored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
One of the key responsibilities of the Occupational Safety and Health administration has been the develop…
These standards have been classified into four categories. 1. General Industry 2. Maritime 3. Construction and
4. Agriculture. These standards cover the workplace, machinery, material, power sources, processing, protective measures, first aid and administrative requirements.
The ‘Federal Register’ is the main source of information on proposed, adapted, amended and deleted OSHA standards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has the power to set standards on its own account or on petition from other parties, namely, The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Other bodies like state and local governments, recognized standards organization, employer or labour representative can also initiate standard setting. The Secretary of labour is the person authorized by OSHA to conduct inspections of workplaces, to issue citations and impose penalties. He can enter without delay at reasonable times into any factory, plant, establishment, construction site or other places where work is performed by an employee of an employer. He has the power to investigate and inspect at reasonable times, any such work place. Violations on job safety and health can call for a penalty of $7000 to $70,000, depending on the seriousness of the violation. In case of deaths due to willful violation, a penalty upto $2,50,000 for an individual and $5,00,000 for a corporation with imprisonment upto six months can be imposed as per this law.
In 2001 alone, $82 million has been imposed as penalties for violation of OSHA standards. Pennzoil products paid $1.5 million after an explosion at its Rouseville, Pennsylvania, refinery killed 5 employees. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also helps

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