The industrial fire at the shirtwaist factory was one of the worst events in the history of the United States of America. This was a garment factory. This fire led to the death of 146 workers. This event led to progressive changes in workers safety and health. There was a commission formed to investigate the working conditions of affecting the health of workers in different American industries. A legislative action occurred that established the workmen’s compensation. It also revised the states codes regarding the occupational safety and health of the workers.
The major regulatory agency that deals with safety and health of workers is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This regulatory agency develops health and safety standards. They ensure all the businesses and non-government agencies follow the standards that prevent employees from injury and getting disease.
The United States Department of Labor also ensures implementation of occupational health and safety laws. The OSHAs Law requires the employers to provide a safe and healthy working environment to the employees. The employers must keep the work place free from any recognized hazards. The employer must ensure the availability of medical staff in the workplace and ensure presence of first aid kits to help the workers in cases of emergency. The employers must keep records of injuries, illnesses and deaths that occur at the workplace. They also need to keep records of determinations regarding compliance with OSHA and actions taken to prevent workplace injuries.
Accidents happen because of many reasons and over the years, several theories have come up trying to explain the cause of accidents. The single factor theory of accident causation consists of one factor that causes the accident. Most accidents happen only because of an unsafe act by a person. Mechanical hazard can also cause the accident. The multiple causation theory explains that for any single accident to occur, several factors contribute to it. The factors include environmental and behavioral factors.
Conducting an accident investigation involves the following steps:
- Report of the occurrence of the accident to the designated authority
- Provision first aid to the injured people in the accident scene
- Securing the accident scene and commencement of investigations
- Identification of the causes of accident
- Report of findings
- Development of a plan and corrective mechanisms
- Implementation of the plan
- Evaluation of the effectiveness of the corrective measures
- Making of changes and continuous improvement