The letters “O-S-H-A” hold a lot of meaning for many people in the US.
Standing for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency plays an important role in keeping workplaces safe in a wide variety of industries, yet it is not large considering the large number of people who benefit from its existence.
There are approximately 2,200 employees working for OSHA who are responsible for the safety of the 130 million working Americans. The agency even boasts a budget of more than $500 million dollars per year, but that doesn’t go far when one considers that it breaks down to less than $5.00 per person working in this nation.
The safety of so many people is not an easy burden to carry, which is why the organization focuses much of its efforts on training and educating those in charge of, or overseeing, work spaces. They also perform regular, unscheduled inspections of work sites to ensure that laborers are being treated fairly and working in reasonable safety. There are, of course, accidents.
Each year millions of people are injured on the job. Of those, more than 4,000 won’t go home again. OSHA is constantly working to improve those statistics. Part of that effort includes investigating the accidents that do occur. The sad part is that the agency can’t be overseeing every workplace at every possible moment and, on average, 13 workers succumb to their fates each day.
While most Americans must work to provide their families with the necessities of life, they cannot be promised absolute safety. The companies that abide by OSHA regulations and do what is necessary to protect employees certainly are doing what they can to prevent tragic accidents. Unfortunately, not every company is so willing to put forth such efforts.