For anyone under 50, it may seem as though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have always existed. However, both government agencies were independently created in 1970, to keep the American people safer and healthier on the job, and to protect human health and the environment on a broad scale.
OSHA helps keep workers safe by creating and enforcing workplace standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance to employers. Part of the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA covers most private sector employers and their workers, as well as some public sector employers and workers in the 50 states, and certain territories and jurisdictions under federal authority.
OSHA regulations cover a wide range of employee protection, including:
- Hazardous chemicals
- Indoor air quality
- Personal protective equipment
- Workplace violence
- Wages, hours worked, and workers’ compensation
- Sanitation (restrooms and drinking water)
Complementarily, the EPA’s purpose is to ensure that:
- All Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
- National efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
- Federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
- Environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade;
- All parts of society communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
- Environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive;
- The U.S. plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.
The EPA accomplishes its mission by studying environmental issues; developing and enforcing regulations; teaching people about the environment, energy, recycling, etc.; and by giving grants to state environmental programs, non-profits, educational institutions, and other groups for a variety of projects, from scientific studies to community cleanups.
At Impact Absorbents, we take both OSHA’s and the EPA’s mandates to heart, which is why our 500+ spill clean up and spill containment products not only help to keep your workplace clean, dry and safe, but are also non-toxic and environmentally friendly. With OSHA and the EPA as your de facto “support staff”, you’re well positioned to keep your team healthy and safe for many years to come!