"I've been a carpenter for thirty years and I still have nine fingers!"
This used to be a statement that one would take great pride in. Thirty years on the job and only one finger lost. However, in our modern society filled with lawyers and lawsuits, this is no longer the case. Without a doubt, this is for the better and the modern workplace is far safer than it's pre-OSHA counterpart.
Since the inception of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the workplace has become much safer. In 2006, there were around 1,260 jobsite fatalities nationwide; this is compared to over 14,000 in 1970.
Without a doubt, OSHA mandates are, at least partially, responsible for the radical decline in jobsite fatalities, but there is another factor involved that needs to be credited. Employers have stepped up to the plate and strived to make their workplaces safer. Most companies now have well regulated Material Safety Data Sheets easily accessible. Many construction firms now have stringent fall protection and electrical safety guidelines that exceed those required by OSHA. In short, employers no longer treat their employees as expendable assets.
It is with this mentality that business can further move forward into a safer, more effective future. Remember, safety is not something you do for a portion of the day at work. It is a culture that keeps people alive.
Since the inception of OSHA, jobsite fatalities have been cut by over 90%, but it still is not enough. There is not an "acceptable" value of human life.