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February 14, 1972

Physician's Guide to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

JAMA. 1972;219(7):905-907. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03190330063017

The Williams-Steiger Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 has created increased demands for professional-medical advice in setting up new or enlarged employee health and safety programs in both large and small employee groups.

The American Medical Association supported this legislation, with full realization that the federal government alone has inadequate resources for either administration or enforcement of all its provisions. Only by efforts at community levels by business, labor, voluntary organizations, the health professions, and local and state governments can the purpose of the Congress be really implemented. Preventive medicine has a major role to play in these efforts.

Most physicians have limited information concerning the following aspects of such programs: (a) surveying hazards at the work-place; (b) teamwork with industrial nurses, safety engineers, industrial hygienists, and environmental testing laboratories devoted to controlling hazards to employees in industry; (c) diagnosis and treatment of occupational diseases; (d) selective screening examinations