The U.S. Government’s Role in Safety – Part 2

The U.S. government signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law in 1970.  Great strides have been made in workplace safety since then.  Today’s post is the second in a four part series on the U.S. government and it’s role in workplace safety.

Secretary of Labor


Courtesy Wikipedia

The Department of Labor was created on March 4, 1913 when it was signed into law by William Howard Taft.  In that law, the position of Secretary was created.  The Secretary of Labor is the head of that department.  The position is filled by the appointment of the President of the United States with the consent of the Senate.  The Secretary acts as a mediator in labor disputes, gives an annual fiscal update to Congress, and reports an activity plan to Congress.  The Secretary also serves as the Director of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (The Organic Act, 1913).  The BLS serves as the official producer of injury and illness data.

9625404844_fc7f8bcfbc_bPhoto courtesy  http://

On July 23, 2013, Thomas E. Perez was sworn into the office of Secretary of Labor.  He was nominated by President Obama and is the nation’s 26th Secretary of Labor.  Mr. Perez came from the Department of Justice where he served as the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights.  He had previous experience in Maryland’s Department of Labor where he served as Secretary (Meet the Secretary, n.d.).

Meet the Secretary of Labor. (n.d.). United States Department of Labor. Retrieved from http://

The Organic Act of the Department of Labor. (1913, March 4).The United States Department of Labor. Retrieved from http://