The recent tragedy that unfolded at a Texas fertilizer plant underscores the need for American employers to prioritize worker safety above all else. There is truly no way to prevent worker injury aside from remaining vigilant about safety with regards to every element of a given workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency charged with ensuring that American workplaces are safe for employees. However, days before the Texas fertilizer plant explosion, OSHA announced a shift in focus away from strict worker safety enforcement.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency primarily charged with the creation and enforcement of legislation related to workplace safety and health. When this agency functions properly, workers directly benefit from its efforts. Negligent employers are held accountable for their actions through agency action and conscious employers are informed by the agency about how to keep their workers safe. Similarly, when this agency fails to utilize its power effectively, workers suffer.