Occupational Safety and Health Regulation and Economic Theory: Comment

  • Stephen A. Woodbury
Part of the Recent Economic Thought Series book series (RETH, volume 4)


The need to understand occupational hazards is clear enough. In 1980, 4,400 workers lost their lives on the job, over 5.6 million occupational injuries and illnesses were reported, and over 41.8 million work days were lost as a result of employment hazards (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1982). The optimistic expectations that accompanied passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) — “a substantial reduction in work-related death, illness, and injury,” in the words of Congressman Carl Perkins — have not been realized. We have witnessed neither a gross reduction in work-related injuries in the last decade, nor has any study attempting to control for other influences on employment injuries found any significant independent effect of the efforts of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).


Minimum Wage Injury Rate Occupational Injury Workplace Safety Current Population Survey Data 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer-Nijhoff Publishing 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen A. Woodbury

There are no affiliations available

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