Federal Occupational Health

OSHA Requirements for The Employer

Some work environments contain employee hazards that require formal medical surveillance programs and other health risk mitigations. ReadySet provides the tools and clinical decision support that help ensure compliance with changing federal occupational health requirements.


OHS > Solutions > Federal Occupational Health

Maintaining A Healthy Workforce

federal-occupational-healthThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.  Congress passed this Act to form a Federal Occupational Health agency “to assure so far as possible every healthful working condition and to preserve our human resources.”  Up to this time, no Federal Occupational Health laws or regulatory agencies existed. The passing of the OSH Act of 1970 and eventual activation of OSHA in 1971 brought about significant change in employer responsibilities.  For the first time, employers were legally mandated to ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

Workplace safety and the extent of Federal Occupational Health requirements have changed significantly since the early 1970s.  As federal occupational health mandates and oversight have increased, the numbers of nonfatal injuries and illnesses have steadily experienced significant decline.  Take the period from 1994 to 2013 as an example.  For calendar year 1994, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reported 6.8 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the U.S. This translated to 8.4 injuries per 100 workers. In a similar annual report for 2013, the BLS received notification of 3.3 million worker injuries & illnesses or 3.3 injuries per 100 workers.  While other factors contributed to such a reduction, the effects of federal occupational health standards are obvious.  Most notably is the “General Duty Clause” provision of OSHA regulations.  Rather than require specific surveillance programs with specific outlines (i.e. asbestos surveillance), the general duty clause provides broad, systematic requirements.


The general duty clause of 29 USC 6541 states that each employer:


(1) Shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees


The general duty clause is a bit open-ended and a far cry from the specific programmatic requirements normally associated with OSHA.  OSHA’s compliance group has been making increased use of the general duty clause to cite organizations and win various court proceedings.  As such, the general duty clause should be a primary consideration when creating a comprehensive occupational health and safety program to comply with Federal Occupational Health requirements.


1. OSH Act, Section 5 Duties, 29 USC 654,










ytb tw in