In the USA, national worker protection legislation was enacted in 1970. The legislation required that research, recommendations and guidance be developed to aid employers and workers, that workplace health and safety standards be adopted, that employer comply with those rules and that the government police employer compliance, and that assistance be offered to employers and workers to help them maintain a safe and healthful workplace. In the 40 yr since passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, worker injury, illness and fatalities have declined but not been eliminated. Efforts to accelerate the standards adoption process are much discussed in the USA along with how to protect workers from emerging hazards like nanotechnology. New strategies which seek to eliminate not only the causes of work-related injury and illness, but also more broadly, worker injury and illness, are on the horizon.
2012 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health