In addition to regulating the construction industry, the EPA also deals with agriculture, automobiles, electric utilities, and transportation, among others.

Since the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in 1911 that claimed the lives of 146 employees, workplace abuse has become a criminal offence. The factory managers locked the doors to keep the workers inside, never considering that it was precisely inside that the danger might lie. Safety regulations are now in effect at the federal, state and local levels to protect people on the job. These rules are ultimately enforced by several state agencies, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Food and Drug Administration. The types of laws that affect your business can vary greatly depending on your industry.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Safety is a major concern in the workplace. OSHA is the federal agency that sets standards for safe work environments. As a child of the Department of Labor, OSHA requirements must be met. Whistleblowers, or those who inform the government of employee mistreatment, are protected by law from retaliation. In the event of an injury resulting in overnight hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss, a report must be made to OSHA within 24 hours; if a life is lost, OSHA has to learn eight things.

Being aware of common workplace hazards can help a company take the necessary precautions to avoid preventable accidents and potentially costly litigation. Ladder safety is taught, for example, to counteract the common workplace physical hazard of falling from heights. Other instructions from trained professionals can teach the risks of electrical hazards such as shock or burns from electrical equipment and biological hazards such as infection from contact with blood-borne pathogens.

Environmental Protection Agency

While OSHA was created from a single piece of legislation aimed at workplace wellness, the EPA is tasked with setting standards based on multiple legislative decisions. How is the workplace impacted by the myriad of laws the EPA must enforce?

Suppose a daycare is experiencing an enrollment boom. The management wants to build a new wing to take care of all the new children. However, before new contractors enter the building, they must follow Clean Air Act protocols. A branch of this law prevents human and environmental exposure to asbestos, an archaic building material with fibers that become respiratory health hazards when loose. Therefore, any expectation of renovation must first be vetted for safety by the state government, as the risk that asbestos poses to a person’s permanent health is too great.

In addition to regulating the construction industry, the EPA also deals with agriculture, automobiles, electric utilities, and transportation, among others.

Food and drug administration

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

The Food and Drug Administration law is probably the most extensive administrative regulation for the workplace. Without the FDA, we wouldn’t have health standards for the foods and medicines we use every day. The multitude of farmers, manufacturers, and food retailers means that the FDA has great influence not only on employee safety, but also on customer safety. If spoiled food is given to unsuspecting individuals, the economic cost of such an accident would be devastating. Awareness and empowerment can save the life of your most valuable resource, consumers.

The FDA, OSHA, and EPA can sometimes overlap in their workplace safety obligations. Meeting all standards required by federal, state and local governments not only saves lives, but also reduces expenses. The costs of health care and care in the event of an accident are enormous. Following regulatory protocols can mean the difference between a very high insurance premium and a moderate, affordable rate. Using input from all employees when it comes to safety issues can create a resilient workforce. A more resilient workforce means longevity and credibility for your business.