e. It was not until the English Factory Acts of 1833 were passed that
government showed any real interest in the health of workers. Following England's
lead, several other European countries instituted worker's compensation acts; these
laws tended to stimulate the adoption of increased factory safety precautions and the
inauguration of medical services in industrial plants. The adoption of worker's
compensation acts in Europe was an important factor in the development of
occupational health and industrial hygiene programs in the United States. After
adopting similar laws in this country, it became apparent that it was more profitable to
prevent accidents through enhancement of the working environment than to pay
compensation to accident victims.
f. As the United States grew into one of the world's leading industrial powers,
the US Public Health Service assumed a position of leadership in the evaluation of
diseases encountered by workers and in developing measures to control these
diseases, as well as fostering an interest in occupational diseases by state agencies,
universities, industry, and unions. Our country passed and enacted on many Federal,
state, and local environmental laws and regulations to protect people.
g. Today the objectives of the Department of the Army (DA) Occupational
Safety and Health (OSH) Program are to:
(1) Ensure that workers are suited for their jobs physically, mentally, and
(2) Ensure that workers are provided a safe, healthful work environment,
free from recognized health hazards.
(3) Reduce economic loss to the government and the worker caused by
compensation claims due to physical deficiency, sickness, and injury.
Ensure proper medical care and rehabilitation of the occupationally ill
(5) Prevent decreased combat readiness caused by occupational illness
and injury of military personnel. This is the most important of the program objectives.
GENERAL ORGANIZATION FOR PROGRAMS, THEIR REGULATIONS AND
a. President of the United States. The President of the United States signed
Executive Order 12196 establishing Occupational Health (OH) Programs for all Federal
employees, to include active duty military personnel. This order is the basis for the
Department of Defense (DOD) policy and guidance to DA. Our Congress passed and
enacted Public Law 91-596, The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970.