Workplace safety has been a continuous evolution over the last 200+ years, and we couldn’t have continued improving without those who have dedicated themselves to focusing on higher safety standards, better working conditions, and safer work practices.
First passed by the United States Senate in 2007, this year marks the 15th year this annual recognition has been designated, and Safety Resources, Inc. hopes to continue spreading the word to recognize the contribution Safety Professionals make every day to ensure the safety of workers and workplaces. To encourage future safety advancements and responsibilities, we must first understand how others’ past sacrifices paved the way for the safety and health movement in the present.
In the 1870’s, the railroad industry was very dangerous, often leading to boiler explosions, train wrecks, unsupportive rail bridges, and poor braking systems. Consequently, by the late 1800’s, standardized equipment and air brakes were mandated on both passenger trains as well as freight trains, leading to a significant decrease in catastrophic injuries and fatalities.
In late 1907, at least 362 miners were killed by an explosion at two connected coal mines in Monongah, West Virginia -the worst mining disaster in U.S. history. As a result, Congress created the U.S. Bureau of Mines within the Interior Department three years later.
On November 28th, 1942, Boston's packed Coconut Grove nightclub burned after a patron accidentally ignited artificial palm fronds in a downstairs lounge. Many exit doors were sealed or swung inward, and the main entrance was a revolving glass door. With 492 deaths, Coconut Grove was the deadliest nightclub fire in U.S. history and the cause of major changes in fire codes and laws, including emergency lighting and occupant capacity placards in nightclubs and other meeting places.
December 29th, 1970, the OSH Act was signed by President Richard Nixon, establishing OSHA, NIOSH, and the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Then, in late April 1971, OSHA adopted its first regulatory standards through a one-time-only, streamlined process supported by U.S. Congress.
From the Industrial Revolution to the Digital Age, we’ve collectively learned how to make workplaces safer by evaluating all we have learned from our past and dedicating our future to bring workers home safely every single day.
On the first Wednesday of May, we salute our fellow Safety and Health Professionals, and we work to raise awareness of this occupation, and focus on the dedication of thought leaders who have chosen this career path to provide all workers a safer workplace. We thank the outstanding men and women who have committed themselves to protect people, property, and the environment.
Happy National Safety Professionals’ Day - We are fortunate to be amongst such incredible heroes.