OSHA at 50 Years Old

OSHA at 50 Years Old

December 29, 1970

President Nixon signs Occupational Safety and Health Act

April 28, 1971

OSHA opens its doors


OSHA issues first standards for asbestos, lead, carcinogens, and cotton dust. Also establish OSHA Training Institute, safety and health training grants, On-Site Consultation Programs, State Plans, and whistleblower protections for workplace safety.


U.S Supreme Court affirms that workers can refuse unsafe tasks. OSHA issues standards to give workers the right to know which chemicals they may be exposed to and require employers to provide worker medical and exposure record. Creation of Voluntary Protection Programs, new standards on testing and certification of workplace equipment, and important worker protections from combustible grain dust, trenching, noise and hazardous energy.


OSHA issues Process Safety Management standard and provides new and stronger protections for workers from falls, bloodborne pathogens, toxic substances, and working in confined spaces, longshoring and marine terminals, and laboratories. Employees begin receiving safety and health training through the first OSHA Education Centers.


OSHA works to protect the safety and health of recovery workers after 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina. New standards to protect construction workers in steel erection and prevent exposure to hexavalent chromium.


OSHA helps to protect workers in aftermath of Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. New standards issued for silica dust, cranes, confined spaces, and classification an labeling of work-related chemicals. OSHA launches fall prevention campaign to address number one cause of worker fatalities in construction.


OSHA acted on Coronavirus pandemic to protect nation’s workers through outreach and education efforts to ensure compliance with agency standards, collaboration with federal, state and local authorities.