An assessment of the impact of the OSHA enforcement program on the occupational safety and health market
The workplace environment is composed of the sum total of all physical and behavioral conditions that can affect the safety and health of the workers. This dissertation presents an economic analysis which explains the processes which determine the actual safety and health properties of the workplace. Further than this, economic theory is used to predict how allocation of resources can affect the degrees of safety and health that will be present. From this analysis there follows a set of testable hypotheses on the effects of various government programs on the level of environmental quality contained in the workplace.
This study is not concerned with a benefit-cost analysis of occupational safety and health laws. Rather, this study uses economic theory to develop the expected impacts of administrative rule enforcement upon injury control considerations within the firm and by the workers. The focus of the study is the administration of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The effectiveness of OSHA enforcement activity in achieving two legislative goals is examined. One goal is the dissemination of information on previously unperceived job hazards. The other is to increase the injury control efforts of firms. Since both OSHA and workmen's compensation programs are administered in this country, discussion is carried out within a world in which workmen's compensation laws are already present.