DEFINITION of 'Occupational Safety And Health Act '

Law passed in 1970 to encourage safer workplace conditions in the U.S. The Occupational Safety and Health Act established the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to set standards and perform inspections at job sites. In some parts of the country, an OSHA-approved state agency helps enforce job safety standards, which must be at least as stringent as federal guidelines.

BREAKING DOWN 'Occupational Safety And Health Act '

The 1970 legislation gave the new Occupational Safety and Health Administration the authority to create industry-specific guidelines. However, the act also outlined a “general duty” clause, which stipulates that an employer must provide an environment “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Act applies to most private and public employers. Individuals not protected by the law include self-employed individuals, workers on small family farms and those working in an industry regulated by a separate federal agency.



  1. Department Of Labor (DOL)

    The Department of Labor is a cabinet-level U.S. agency responsible ...
  2. Occupational Labor Mobility

    Refers to the ease with which workers can switch career fields ...
  3. Consumer Product Safety Commission ...

    A U.S. government agency that protects the American public from ...
  4. Health Insurance Marketplace

    Organizations that facilitate structured and competitive markets ...
  5. Statutory Liability

    Statutory liability is a legal term for someone being held responsible ...
  6. Financial Health

    The state of an individual's or a business's financial situation ...
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Your Boss Can't Do That! Laws That Protect Workers

    By federal law, American employees enjoy many legal protections that– among other things– provide a minimal level of income and make the workplace safer.
  2. Insights

    UPS Fined $73,000 For Safety Violations (UPS)

    The delivery company was fined for workplace safety violations at the company’s Louisville airline hangar.
  3. Investing

    Investing For Safety and Income Tutorial

    Read on for some investment strategies that will allow you to protect your money, generate current income and grow the principal.
  4. Small Business

    Make Sure Your Business Complies with These 3 Environmental Laws

    Discover why 1970 is considered the year of the environment, and learn about several major environmental laws with which businesses must comply.
  5. Insurance

    Ultra-Safe Cars Can Cost More to Insure

    Insurance premiums on cars with advanced safety systems are going up, not down, because all that fancy equipment is pricey to fix or replace.
  6. Investing

    What is the One Job Automation Has Eliminated in the Past 60 Years?

    Automation might not be as bad as you think: In actuality it has eliminated just one occupation in 60 years.
  7. Insurance

    Defined Contribution Health Plans: A Primer

    A look at defined contribution health plans and how they work for both employees and employers.
  8. Investing

    3M Buying Johnson Controls Unit for $2 Billion

    3M (NYSE: MMM) is taking a deep plunge into the personal safety segment. It has agreed to buy the Scott Safety business of Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) for a total enterprise value of around ...
  1. What are some of the major regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing financial ...

    Discover the specific responsibilities of some of the major regulatory agencies that oversee financial institutions in the ... Read Answer >>
  2. How does the Affordable Care Act affect moral hazard in the health insurance industry?

    Find out why the Affordable Care Act increases moral hazard in health insurance by pushing consumers farther and farther ... Read Answer >>
  3. In what ways does government regulation impact the insurance sector?

    See how government regulation of the insurance sector leads to higher prices, more risk and a system where the consumer has ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Liquidity

    Liquidity is the degree to which an asset or security can be quickly bought or sold in the market without affecting the asset's ...
  2. Federal Funds Rate

    The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve ...
  3. Call Option

    An agreement that gives an investor the right (but not the obligation) to buy a stock, bond, commodity, or other instrument ...
  4. Standard Deviation

    A measure of the dispersion of a set of data from its mean, calculated as the square root of the variance. The more spread ...
  5. Entrepreneur

    An entrepreneur is an individual who founds and runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of the venture.
  6. Money Market

    The money market is a segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities ...
Trading Center