Workers at Risk: The Failed Promise of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is not close to meeting its mandate to protect American workers, according to administrative law specialists McGarity and Shapiro. Thousands of men and women are still victims of workplace accidents and occupational disease. The goal of this book is to analyze why OSHA has failed and to suggest what can be done to set it back on track. The book, divided into six parts, evaluates the current status of the protection of workers and provides a history of OSHA regulation. The authors suggest four methods to reduce workplace health and safety risks: (1) better management of OSHA; (2) reduced oversight by the courts and the executive branch; (3) a change in OSHA's legislative mandate; and (4) empowering workers to protect themselves.

This important work will be of interest to scholars and professionals in occupational health, labor economics, labor law, and human resource management.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275942816
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/5/1993
  • Pages: 376

Meet the Author

THOMAS O. McGARITY is Farish Professor of Law at the University of Texas in Austin.

SIDNEY A. SHAPIRO is Rounds Professor of Law at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I OSHA's Failed Promise
1 The Plight of America's Workers 3
2 Regulatory Failure and Reform 17
Pt. II OSHA's History
3 The Nixon/Ford Years: Inauspicious Beginnings 33
4 The Carter Years: OSHA on the Move 47
5 The Reagan Years: Going Backward 61
6 The Reagan Years: Inching Forward 79
7 The Reagan Years: Killing Time 98
8 The Reagan Years: Tying Up Loose Ends 105
9 The Reagan Years: New Initiatives 122
10 The Reagan Years: Weakening Enforcement 139
11 The Bush Years: An Identity Crisis 158
Pt. III Internal Reforms: Better Management for OSHA
12 Making OSHA More Efficient: Setting Priorities and Eliminating Bottlenecks 185
13 More Bang for the Buck: Alterative Methods of Regulation and Implementation 200
14 Ensuring Compliance: The Puzzle of Enforcement 211
Pt. IV External Reforms: Who Is in Charge?
15 The President's Role: OSHA and OMB 229
16 OSHRC's Role: The Failure of the Split-Enforcement Arrangement 244
17 The Courts' Role: Judicial Review and OSHA 254
Pt. V External Reforms: Changing OSHA's Mandate
18 OSHA and Overregulation: Should Cost-Benefit Analysis Apply? 267
19 Economics and OSHA: Cost-Benefit Analysis and Underregulation 281
20 Modeling EPA: A New Mandate for OSHA 293
Pt. VI External Reforms: Empowering Workers
21 Lighting a Fire: When OSHA Is a Reluctant Regulator 309
22 Empowering Workers: Enforcing the OSH Act 321
23 Empowering Workers: Rethinking Employment Relationships 332
Selected Bibliography 349
Index 355
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