Recognition of the effects of working under deleterious conditions and with harmful substances has resulted in efforts to protect workers from exposure to them. Legislation to prevent or limit the occurrence of occupational disease dates from the Factory Act in England in 1802. Prevention of unhealthy or unsafe working conditions and oversight of healthy and safe workplaces are the responsibility in the United States of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency, as well as many state agencies. Many occupational abuses have been redressed by litigation and legislation in the United States, and workers' compensation takes care, by a system of insurance, of those who suffer from occupational diseases.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.