ROLE OF ORGANIZED LABOR IN THE SAFETY MOVEMENT 3
ROLEOF ORGANIZED LABOR IN THE SAFETY MOVEMENT
Organizedlabor has played an important role in the development of the safetymovement in the U.S. Since the industrial revolution period,organized labor continues to fight for appropriate compensation ofworkers especially those injured on the job, as well as, advocate forsafer working conditions (Speegle, 2013). Furthermore, in the betweenthe 19thand 20thcentury, organized labor’s efforts to gain shorter working hoursand a safer and healthier working environment were successful.Hunnicutt (1988) points out that the labor leaders talked about thevalue of shorter hours, and many employers reduced their workday to 8hours, resulting to an average of 50 hours a week. However, thisreduced the wages of the workers accordingly, because those workinghours typically earn more money than those working short hours.
Accordingto Rogers (2009), organized labor played a major role in the early20thcentury safety movement in history. Rogers holds that the laborgroups entered politics to accumulate a wide array of fire and miningsafety, machine safeguard, and workshop sanitation. They increasinglydemanded state action to place more responsibility for accidentprevention on employers. In 1969, President Nixon signed the federalMine Safety and Health Act into law, and provided stronger health andsafety standards for miners and authorized a black-lung compensationprogram (Anderson, 2014).
Cooperet al. (2011) adds that a recent public outcry has resulted to therenewed attention to mine safety, health and training by organizedlabor, law makers and mine operators. This has resulted to the MineImprovement and New Emergency Response Act (MINER Act, 2006), whichrequires mine operators to develop and maintain better plans foremergency preparedness and response. These interventions have helpedto reduce, control, and prevent workers exposure to health hazards inthe working environment.
Anderson,J. E. (2014). PublicPolicy Making.New York: Cengage Learning
Burke,R. J., Cooper, C. L., & Clarke, S. (2011). Occupationalhealth and safety.Farnham, England: Gower
Hunnicutt,B. K. (1988). Workwithout end: abandoning shorter hours for the right to work.Philadelphia: Temple University Press
Rogers,D. W. (2009). Makingcapitalism safe: work safety and health regulation in America,1880-1940.Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press.
Speegle,M. (2013). Safety,health, and environmental concepts for the process industry(2nd ed.). Clifton Park, NY: Delmar, Cengage Learning