A Special Message from the Assistant Secretary
Forty years ago Congress responded to the public's demand for safer workplaces and passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The need was clear: far too many workers were getting killed or seriously injured on the job. The legislation created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and charged the new agency with setting and enforcing standards to protect working men and women in America.
April 28, 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of OSHA’s first day on the job - a job that has delivered remarkable progress for our nation. Workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths have fallen dramatically since OSHA began. Together with our State partners, OSHA has tackled deadly safety risks and serious health hazards. We have established common sense standards and cooperative programs that have saved thousands of lives and prevented countless injuries.
Today workplaces in America are far safer than forty years ago. Our progress gives us hope and confidence that OSHA will continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of our nation's 130 million workers, and their families.
Looking to the future, OSHA remains committed to protecting workers from toxic chemicals and deadly safety hazards at work; ensuring that vulnerable workers in high-risk jobs have access to critical information and education about job hazards; and providing employers with vigorous compliance assistance to promote best practices that can save lives.
We hope you will join us in this anniversary year as we recognize OSHA's accomplishments and reaffirm our dedication to the agency's mission. Help us celebrate four decades of healthier workers, safer workplaces, and a stronger America.
David Michaels, PhD, MPH
Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA