Workplace safety has not always been an employee-focused endeavor. Take, for example, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. The factory caught fire and, because it was commonplace at the time to lock workers inside during working hours, 146 factory workers died. Students and legislators alike are taught about this travesty as a worst-case scenario example of why we need workplace safety regulations. However, despite the number of horrible working conditions in factories, true workplace regulations were not actually passed until decades later, when the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA Act) was signed into law by President Nixon at the tail end of 1970. The Act, in turn, created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which continues to provide workplace safety measures nationwide.
The OSHA Act’s Precursors
Factory fires and other highly unsafe conditions were a concern for workers surrounded by the new and dangerous machinery almost as soon as the Industrial Revolution swept across Europe and America. Unfortunately, many factory owners at the time realized it was less expensive to replace workers than it was to implement safety measures. In fact, many were so concerned with theft and employees sneaking out to cut shifts short that they would lock everyone in the building for the duration of the work day and only allow them to leave through a single door.
Even as late as the 1960s workplace safety was a serious concern. In 1968 and 1969, more than 14,000 people died a year because of workplace accidents and a further 2 million were injured or disabled. These statistics were the proverbial final straw on the camel’s back and the OSHA Act was passed in December 1970 to provide mandated protection to workers. The Act was, according to Congress, intended “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.”
What the OSHA Act Does
Under the Act, the department for Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created, which is responsible for setting and enforcing standards to provide a “safe and healthful workplace.” In addition to setting and enforcing standards, OSHA is responsible for “providing training, outreach, education and assistance” because all employers must meet OSHA standards. Primarily, the department’s focus is on mechanical and chemical hazards.
Meeting OSHA regulations for safe machinery can be complex and potentially costly. One effective way to ensure your machinery meets OSHA requirements for safety is to upgrade your machinery’s motor brake from mechanical brake to an electric brake system. Ambi-Tech Electronic Brake products use DC injection braking to create a stationary magnetic field, allowing the AC-powered electric motor to stop more swiftly. With electric motor brakes, you do not need to worry about brake parts wearing out; simply install the DC injection brake module into the machine’s circuitry system. The more voltage is applied, the stronger the braking force will be.
Ensure your machinery meets OSHA’s safety standards. Contact the electric motor brake experts at Ambi-Tech Electronic Brakes today to learn more or request a quote online!