253690 OSHA AT 40: What Have We Learned?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:30 PM

Stephen Mooser, MPH , Health and Safety Department, Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/UFCW, New York, NY
The passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act reflected recognition of the national public health disaster of 100,000 American workers dying annually as a result of preventable work-related injuries and illnesses. Its primary mission was to protect workers through the establishment and enforcement of workplace safety and health standards. OSHA has notably contributed to a significant reduction of work-related fatalities and diseases over the past 40 years. But serious limitations in the legislative framework creating the agency, as well as chronic underfunding and timid administrative commitment to the mission of prevention, have markedly weakened its efforts. Given these limitations, health and safety activists have organized and are committed to share information and experiences on how best to use the agency and other approaches to help workers protect themselves at their workplaces.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Explain the factors that have limited the effectiveness of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Discuss how the Occupational Safety and Health Act can be utilized to protect workers without legislative changes.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Director of Health and Safety of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union for the past 11 years, I interact frequently with OSHA at the national and regional levels particularly related to the agency's enforcement policies and practices. My previous work at Occupational Health clinical centers included considerable involvement with OSHA standard setting.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.