OSHA is 40 this year and the Agency is looking back on its history and "celebrating" its accomplishments. OSHA recently issued a timeline that stretches all the way back to December 29, 1970, when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was signed, and highlights Agency accomplishments up to the present.
Not surprisingly, the timeline is heavily populated by regulatory actions and standards issued by the Agency. Rules varying from asbestos, to grain handling, to Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories are highlighted. Interestingly, the timeline highlights a non-federal OSHA rule as well – California’s adoption of an ergonomics standard in 1997. OSHA does not mention that it finalized its own ergonomics standard toward the end of the Clinton Administration, which was later rescinded by Congress under the Congressional Review Act. OSHA also highlights the start of several voluntary compliance programs, such as its Voluntary Protection Program, its training and education grants, and the development of its safety and health program guidelines in 1989.
As for OSHA’s recent accomplishments, the list includes a few, notably OSHA’s proposed initiative to require employers to adopt an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. "I2P2" seems to continue to be OSHA’s signature regulatory initiative, however, stakeholders are still waiting for the Agency to begin the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act process for the proposal and as the timeline attests, it has been almost a year since OSHA announced this initiative. The list does not include major enforcement initiatives issued recently, such as the Severe Violator Enforcement Program and OSHA’s Administrative Penalty Increase Memorandum.
Stakeholders should check OSHA’s timeline out — it is worth the read!