How has OSHA Advanced Worker Safety for 50 Years?

Formed in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has drastically reduced fatalities, injuries, and illnesses of American workers in the workplace. We’re leveraging the expertise of our arc-flash and flash fire subject matter expert, Scott Margolin, to review how OSHA has supported the industries affected by arc-flash and flash-fire hazards over the years.


In the 1980s, OSHA turned its attention to the oil and gas industry to issue standards that gave workers the right to know which chemicals they may be exposed to and required employers to provide workers with medical and exposure records. Specifically, OSHA focused on flash fire hazards and flame resistant clothing (FRC) that protects against flash fire hazards.


In 1994, OSHA focused on arc-flash hazards within the electric utility space and the arc-rated (AR) clothing that protects against those hazards.


OSHA worked with NPFA 2112 standard for flash fire and with NFPA 70E standard for industrial arc-flash to enhance worker safety after acknowledging that industrial electricians need – and are entitled to – the same protections as those who work in the utility space.


To address oil and gas workers’ rights to flash fire protection, OSHA released the Oil and Gas Letter. This letter ensures that workers who operate drilling rigs have the same right to flash fire protective clothing that workers in refineries receive.

Since then, OSHA continues to make significant advances in the safety and health of America’s workers. Check out their site for a deeper dive into what OSHA’s been up to for the last 50 years.

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