Health & Safety Regulations: Protection Requirements & Acceptable Risk

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  • 0:01 Occupational Safety
  • 1:06 Acceptable Risk
  • 1:51 OSHA
  • 2:58 Employer Responsibilities
  • 4:11 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Companies have to abide by federal health and safety regulations enforced by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act). In this lesson, you will learn the protection requirements and acceptable risks companies must be knowledgeable about in the workplace.

Occupational Safety

Going to work should not be hazardous to your health. There are thousands of examples of employees getting injured at work. The chemical industry has been fined the most by the government for hazardous worker incidents. For example, one man who worked for a well-known chemical company lost his life when a hot spark ignited flames inside a tank, causing an explosion, which killed him and maimed another worker.

Government regulations ensure the safety, health and welfare of workers through the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. It's also known as OSHA. This act grants the federal government the power to establish and enforce occupational safety and health standards for businesses.

In this lesson, we will discuss how government regulations provide protection requirements for workers' health and the acceptable risk approach to safety in the workplace. Let's take a look at the Dusty Coal Mine's role in protecting the health and safety of their workforce.

Acceptable Risk

Dusty Coal Mine is ranked very high on OSHA's list for injuries to their employees. The job is a dangerous one due to working miles underground harvesting coal. The company has to work with OSHA and establish a plan to protect the health and safety of their employees. Companies such as Dusty Coal Mine cannot provide the perfect environment that will eliminate all dangers to their employees.

This is where the idea of acceptable risk comes into play. For example, if Dusty Coal Mine can reduce the risk level to a low enough level to satisfy OSHA and its legal obligations, then it would be deemed an acceptable risk. Companies are under pressure to provide the safest environment possible based on the worst circumstances.


OSHA plays a central role in monitoring Dusty Coal Mine's employees' safety. OSHA has three roles in which they provide enforcement, assistance and cooperation to companies. For example, OSHA has the power to enforce their regulations upon Dusty Coal Mine. They are able to fine the company for any violations. Recently, it was discovered that the coal mine company was not providing enough safety clothes for their employees and was issued a fine and deadline for fixing the issue. OSHA also conducts safety inspections at Dusty Coal Mine's facilities to ensure that the employees are working in a safe environment.

In addition, OSHA provides assistance to Dusty Coal Mines through outreach and training of employees on occupational safety and health. They just held a training class on how to report safety issues at the coal mine.

Lastly, OSHA provides cooperation to companies. For example, OSHA rewarded Dusty Coal Mines by giving them a 15% discount on their safety work clothes penalty because they fixed the problem immediately.

Employer Responsibilities

OSHA also established many regulations that Dusty Coal Mine has to follow to protect their employees, including:

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