According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2007, approximately 4.6 of every 100 employees experienced a workplace-related injury or illness—the lowest reported job injury rate since 1973. The federal agency responsible for setting workplace safety standards, conducting workplace inspections, and imposing employer fines is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is housed in the Department of Labor, with the secretary of labor having the primary accountability for the agency. OSHA has more than 2,000 employees, including 1,100 people who served as the inspectors responsible for inspecting 38,579 workplaces in 2006. While OSHA is regularly in the news whenever workplace safety issues erupt, the full range of its activities and responsibilities may be less well-known, among both those who write the news ...

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