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Health and Safety
The main laws that relate to health and safety issues are OSHA and EPA. Both are very common
concerns in the industrial environment. Safety and environmental laws are often intertwined,
especially in terms of working conditions and reporting requirements that a manager might
supervise. Due to the nature of industrial materials and processes, industrial supervisors tend to
deal with safety and environmental issues more so than other front-line supervisors. In many
ways, safety and environmental issues are subsets of labor law in general but safety and
environmental issues also have unique components that warrant study. Safety and environmental
concerns are tied together in several ways. For instance, many environmental concerns cause
safety problems. Safety problems can also be environment problems, e.g., factory air quality.
Safety is a concern of many groups. In addition to the primary concern for wellness born out of
humane and moral convictions (ethics, in other words), industry and society want safe working
places because of economic (productivity, wasted resources, etc.) and public image reasons.
Increasingly, politicians are becoming aware of environmental concerns. It is widely believed
that industry and the lifestyle industrialization supports is a major source of pollution, habitat
depletion, use of natural resources, and global destruction. Hence, policies and laws are
continually being developed and refined that are meant to protect the environment by controlling
For each of the following bullets the supervisor usually has a direct role in compliance,
reporting, and record keeping. Some of the bullets are more are less pertinent to any given
employer or supervisor depending on the technology and the situation. This assignment is not
going to delve very deep into the actual specifics of the laws, but will focus on the supervisor’s
role with the laws. Many of the following have very specific requirements and failure to comply
can result in millions of dollars in fines, prison sentences, or the job site shut down. Of course
the laws exist in the first place to reduce the risk of death, dismemberment, poisoning, chronic
health problems, and other injuries to employees, customers, and citizens and the environment at
large. You are strongly encouraged to take one or more courses in industrial/construction health,
safety, hygiene and similar courses. Legal, safety, quality, and production planning are central to
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is commonly required in most industrial settings.
Common PPEs include protection for hearing, eye and face, head, hand, leg and foot, and
respiratory. Some tasks, locations, or situations require full body suits or specific types of
protection, e.g., welding would require one type of face protection and sandblasting
Electrical and machine lock out and tag out.
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Safety and danger zones, e.g., fork truck paths.
First aid and emergency actions and plans, including fire prevention plans and actions.
o Availability and maintenance of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
o Hazardous waste, e.g. handling and records, which vary according to type,
Inspections (by OSHA or EPA) related to any of the above.
quantity, storage, and transport.
1. Find a specific OSHA or EPA regulation (or similar safety or environmental federal or
state statute) that your employer (or industry or profession) deals with on a regular basis.
Post the entire standard (you can summarize it down to a page if it is a page or more in
length). Include a discussion of the following.
a. The positive consequences of compliance.
b. The penalties for noncompliance.
c. Any other negative consequences of noncompliance.
d. Explain why the employer, industry, or profession is concerned about the code.
e. Explain how the company complies, i.e., what does the employer has to do to
f. How are front-line workers and their supervisors involved?
1. Find a specific OSHA or EPA regulation (or similar safety or environmental
federal or state statute) that your employer (or industry or profession) deals with on a regular
basis. Post the entire standard (you can summarize it down to a page if it is a page or more in
length). Include a discussion of the following.
Agricultural Standards of OSHA (Part 1928) are very few and apply to employers that are
engaged in agricultural operations. The after harvesting activities are considered general industry
operations and fall under the OSHA’S general industry standards, “Federal OSHA’s
Appropriations Act exempts qualifying small farming operations from enforcement or
administration of all rules, regulations, standards or orders under the Occupational Safety and
Health Act, including rules affecting consultation and technical assistance or education and
training services” (Occupational Safety and Health Hazards for Agriculture, 2015).