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Freedom to HarmThe Lasting Legacy of the Laissez Faire Revival$
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Thomas O. McGarity

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780300141245

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300141245.001.0001

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Worker Safety

Worker Safety

(p.84) 8 Worker Safety
Freedom to Harm

Thomas O. McGarity

Yale University Press

This chapter explains that both Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) have had a discernable impact on workplace safety and health. The frequency of mine disasters and overall mine-related fatalities declined during much of the Laissez Faire Revival, but began to creep upward during the George W. Bush Administration, and shot up dramatically in 2006. From the outset of the Laissez Faire Revival, efforts by workplace safety advocates to induce OSHA and MSHA to promulgate protective rules of responsibility encountered stiff resistance from the regulated industries and serious roadblocks created by unsympathetic officials within the executive branch. Consequently, neither agency promulgated as many standards as Congress envisioned when it enacted their statutes, and the standards they did promulgate often did not measure up to protective policies embedded in those laws.

Keywords:   OSHA, MSHA, workplace safety, Laissez Faire Revival, Congress

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